Zach Vinson describes himself as scrawny. At 5 10″ and a buck fifty, if he’s a pound, it’s an apropos description. He’s a young singer/songwriter from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and reports that he will be playing this Saturday night at Kafe Kerouac. His latest album is called The Streets With Turn to Streams, which follows an album called Cracked Open. You can check out tracks from both, here, which is what I did today when Chip asked me to write up a brief preview.
As I’ve listened this morning, I’ve found Vinson’s songs thoughtful and well-composed. At his best, both his lyrics and his music are playfully risky, which is to say they pursue some unusual arrangements or lean in on some unique phrasing. Left Hands and Swim Until it Takes from his latest album, The Streets Will Turn to Streams, both grabbed my attention, as did It Don’t Come Easy from his album Cracked Open, although in this latter song, the lyrics ultimately fell short of the expectations his opening riffs set. Vinson is an accomplished pianist, but a good deal of his tracks are guitar heavy. His best work leads with the piano.
The Cracked Open tracks that Vinson has on his website feel lighter on the “risk” side and heavier on the “soulful retelling of what I perceive to be truth at this time in my life” side, which is not to say they’re not fine songs, nor well performed. They are both, and in some cases quite fun. But the tracks from The Streets Will Turn to Streams are more interesting.
Here he is playing Left Hands in Nashville.
Zach Vinson reports he is playing at Kafe Kerouac, Saturday, June 8 at 9 p.m. $5 suggested donation.