EP - Zach Bryan - Boys Of Faith
news

‘Deep Satin’ by Zach Bryan - Lyrics & Meaning

September 25, 2023 4:59 pm GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 7:11 pm GMT

t-logo
f-logo
email logo
link icon

Link copied

Content Sponsor

Zach Bryan - ‘Deep Satin’

Label: Belting Bronco Records / Warner Records

Release Date: 22nd September 2023

EP: Boys Of Faith

Producers: Zach Bryan & Eddie Spear

Songwriter: Zach Bryan

The Background:

At long last, Zach Bryan aficionados can open up their Apple Music or Spotify apps and see ‘Deep Satin’ sat happily in their libraries. Since he first performed it live back in September 2022, fans have repeatedly hounded Zach across his socials, pleading with him to drop the track.

After the frenzy that the ‘Something in the Orange’ hitmaker's teaser caused, Zach Bryan eventually took to Twitter to announce that ‘Deep Satin’ would be released as part of his 2023 album, which was - at the time - lined up for February.

At one point, ‘Deep Satin’ was set to drop as a single ahead of the hotly anticipated project, but when the record was pushed back, the song's future was placed back into doubt.

When the tracklist arrived for Zach Bryan's self-titled 2023 album, listeners were disappointed to see ‘Deep Satin’ would not be featuring. However, Zach was quick to reassure listeners that they wouldn't have to wait long, promising ‘Deep Satin’ and “a few more songs” would be released in the months following August's Zach Bryan.

On September 22, exactly four weeks after the release of his widely acclaimed self-titled record, Zach Bryan surprised - and delighted - fans by dropping his Boys Of Faith EP.

As well as including high-profile collaborations with Noah Kahan (‘Sarah's Place’) and Bon Iver (‘Boys Of Faith’), listeners were overjoyed to see ‘Deep Satin’ on the EP's five-song tracklist.

The Sound:

The title ‘Deep Satin’ conjures up luxurious, romantic images, inviting the listener in on the promise of a sweet, lovestruck ballad. However, from the moment Zach Bryan's purposefully coarse, raw vocals clash against the uneasy, haunting instrumental, it's evident this is far from a smooth ode to simple, happy love.

The ethereal, meandering strings feel reminiscent of the now-iconic accompaniment on Zach Bryan's chart-topping tribute to a long-gone lover, ‘Something in the Orange’.

Similarly to ‘Something in the Orange’, for the opening at least, the listener hears nothing more than the subtle strings and the gentle, forlorn strum of an acoustic guitar.

After Zach Bryan takes you through the first two verses, an energising drum beat enters the fray, which is mirrored by the introduction of an extra layer of ferocity in his vocal delivery.

By the time we reach the chorus, the drums become more persistent and both the intensity and pitch of strings have been dialled up, creating an angsty, furious crescendo.

When ‘Deep Satin’ eases back down to earth for its closing lines, we return to the softer, reflective strings that kicked off Zach's nostalgic, homesick quest to reignite an old flame.

The Meaning:

“Walking 'round town in a place I've never been

In deep, deep Manhattan

I recall it all, your dress and how it falls

You rollin' in deep satin”

Zach Bryan begins ‘Deep Satin’ with a theme we see recurring throughout American Heartbreak, Summertime Blues and his 2023 self-titled project - feeling out-of-place in the harsh glare of the city lights, and longing for the familiarity of home.

The repetition of ‘deep’ underlines the extent to which Zach feels entangled in the concrete jungle of Manhattan, and far-removed from the rural idyll of his hometown of Oologah, Oklahoma.

As he seeks some form of comfort, his mind turns to the joyful memory of an evening spent with the subject of the song. Zach paints the picture of the night they enjoyed together, and infuses colours of opulence and luxury through his titular reference to ’deep satin’.

“Won't you call a cab, mister, won't you pay my tab?

There's some boys on the curb haymakin'

And I ain't been home in three years or so

And everyone I know now's mistaken”

In a way, this verse feels like an extension of The War and Treaty-assisted ‘Hey Driver’, which appears on Zach Bryan. The song's protagonist decides he's had enough and that he wishes to return home, asking the man he's talking to in the bar to call him a cab and settle his tab.

The line ‘everyone I know now's mistaken’ could imply that Zach Bryan has grown jaded by the superficiality he's encountered in Manhatten. Alternatively, given the fact that ‘Deep Satin’ follows ‘Boys Of Faith’ on the EP of the same name, this could be a reference to the belief his home-friends had unwaveringly placed in him. On this reading, Zach is saying they were ‘mistaken’ to put their faith in him.

“Frauds as friends, starts as ends

Big lights is actual love

But you in Manhattan rollin’ in deep satin

Was a painful and wonderful drug”

This verse is arguably the keystone of ‘Deep Satin’, with the protagonist highlighting the disorientation and disconnection that has led to his desire to leave Manhattan.

He juxtaposes ‘friends’ with ’frauds’ and ‘starts’ with ‘ends’, before comparing the bright lights of the city to real, heartfelt love. This seamlessly transitions into another flashback to the intoxicating memory of the love he made with an old flame in Manhattan.

He describes this encounter with yet another piece of juxtaposition, likening the experience to “a painful and wonderful drug”. This contrast seems to stand as a symbol for Zach's view of Manhattan, which thrills and excites him, only to then leave him cold and isolated.

“Well, I've been comin’ down on a Greyhound

That is westbound to the sea

When you see the lights, when you hear the rain

Is there a chance you're thinkin' of me?

Is that song stuck in your head?

‘Friend of the Devil’, by the Dead

Or is that just what your friends want me to be?

'Cause if that's the case, then that's just what I'll be”

We now meet Zach Bryan as he is in the middle of his journey home via a Greyhound bus, with the singer-songwriter travelling “westbound to the sea”. It's not 100% clear whether the song's protagonist is returning to Zach's real-life home in Oklahoma, because this is west of Manhattan, New York, but not near an ocean.

He asks his ex-lover whether he still crosses her mind, before referencing a song that they both listened to while together, ‘Friend of the Devil’ by The Grateful Dead.

In this 1970 track, the narrator details how he's spent his life on the run, outlining all the chances at love he's ruined and all the important moments he's missed due to his criminality.

Although the protagonist in ’Deep Satin’ is never depicted as a criminal, the nod to The Grateful Dead's ‘Friend of the Devil’ appears to be a precursor to the way his previous lover and her circle see him, as a result of him spending so much time out on the road touring.

It's not the first time Zach has name-checked another artist in his lyrics, with the ‘I Remember Everything’ crooner having tipped his ball-cap to Tyler Childers (‘Flying or Crying’) and his good buddy, Charles Wesley Godwin (‘The Greatest Day of My Life’), in the past.

Zach concludes the hook with the self-effacing claim that he'll gladly fulfil the role his ex's friends have laid out for him, if that's what it takes to return into her arms.

These lines are underpinned by a heartbreaking loss of self-esteem, as the ‘Deep Satin’ protagonist contends with the troublingly elusive nature of his identity since moving to Manhattan.

“There's love when I'm leavin', there's laughter this evenin’

I'll set out runnin' home

If I get a ride out in this place tonight

I'll gladly take myself home

So won't you call a cab, misses, won't you pay my tab?

I heard life was a windin' road

There's no hounds or child around

But the Devil follows where I go”

The scene immediately takes on a rose-tinted glow as the prospect of coming home begins to sink in, and he goes on to ask some of his bar-friends once again if they can organise a ride for him.

This time, he directs his attention to the women in the bar (“misses”), suggesting his previous requests fell on deaf ears, perhaps emphasising the unwelcoming nature of the city.

Zach finishes this verse with another reference to The Grateful Dead's ‘Friend of the Devil’, echoing the sentiment of that song, where the Devil refuses to leave him alone despite his best efforts.

The meaning of the line “There's no hounds or child around” is up for debate, but it could be a religious reference to the Hell-Hounds and the Children of God, with Zach explaining that neither are anywhere to be seen, yet he knows the Devil will nonetheless be on his tail.

What has Zach Bryan said about ‘Deep Satin’?

Zach Bryan has largely remained tight-lipped on the inspiration behind ‘Deep Satin’. However, in an August 2023 Tweet, the Oklahoma native shed some light on why ‘Deep Satin’ wasn't included on the Zach Bryan tracklist, “I wanted this entire record to be self-produced. Releasing Deep Satin (a song my friend Eddie [Spear] produced) and a few more songs as the months are to come. I won’t keep anyone waiting I promise, I love you guys and I am so grateful I get to grow through this life with y’all”.

On this basis, it seems one of the reasons ’Deep Satin’ was picked for Zach Bryan's Boys Of Faith EP rather than his self-titled album is because it featured co-production from Eddie Spear, and Zach was keen to ensure each song on his main record was self-produced.

For the full lyrics to Zach Bryan's ‘Deep Satin, see below:

“Walking 'round town in a place I've never been

In deep, deep Manhattan

I recall it all, your dress and how it falls

You rollin' in deep satin

Won't you call a cab, mister, won't you pay my tab?

There's some boys on the curb haymakin'

And I ain't been home in three years or so

And everyone I know now's mistaken

Frauds as friends, starts as ends

Big lights is actual love

But you in Manhattan rollin’ in deep satin

Was a painful and wonderful drug

Well, I've been comin’ down on a Greyhound

That is westbound to the sea

When you see the lights, when you hear the rain

Is there a chance you're thinkin' of me?

Is that song stuck in your head?

‘Friend of the Devil’, by the Dead

Or is that just what your friends want me to be?

'Cause if that's the case, then that's just what I'll be

There's love when I'm leavin', there's laughter this evenin’

I'll set out runnin' home

If I get a ride out in this place tonight

I'll gladly take myself home

So won't you call a cab, misses, won't you pay my tab?

I heard life was a windin' road

There's no hounds or child around

But the Devil follows where I go

Well, I've been comin’ down on a Greyhound

That is westbound to the sea

When you see the lights, when you hear the rain

Is there a chance you're thinkin' of me?

Is that song stuck in your head?

‘Friend of the Devil’, by the Dead

Or is that just what your friends want me to be?

If that's the case, then that's just what I'll be

I've been comin’ down on a Greyhound

That is westbound to the sea

When you see the lights, when you hear the rain

Is there a chance you're thinkin’ of me?

Is that song stuck in your head?

‘Friend of the Devil’, by the Dead

Or is that just what your friends want me to be?

‘Cause if that's the case, then that's just what I'll be”

For more on Zach Bryan, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
Content Sponsor
Holler's New & Upcoming Country Albums 2023: Release Dates Graphic
news

New & Upcoming Country Albums In 2024: Release Dates

Artist - Hailey Whitters Live
news

Hailey Whitters Covers Tyler Childers’ ‘Feathered Indians’

Artist - HARDY 6
news

HARDY Hints at New Songs; “More Are Coming”

Charles Wesley Godwin at the Opry
news

Charles Wesley Godwin, Wyatt Flores, 49 Winchester and More Announced as Opry NextStage Class of 2024