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Zach Blew — Away at Sea

Zach Blew's sophomore album, Away at Sea, is a poignant exploration of the human spirit grappling with its darkest moments. From the depths of grief and addiction to the highs of healing and redemption, Blew's soulful baritone and genre-blending compositions invite listeners into a deeply personal journey. Diving into the heart of his themes, the three singles "Whirlpool", "Film", and "Yes", each offer a unique perspective on the tumultuous waters of spiritual violence and the quest for self-identity.

"Whirlpool" immediately submerges the listener into the swirling emotions following the loss of Blew's father. The gentle strings and sultry R&B undertones create a vortex of sorrow and longing, encapsulated in the lyrics, "I'm in your whirlpool, baby," and "The world is a wall of my tears spinning around me." As the first track on Away at Sea, it sets the thematic tone with a rich harmony that evokes comparisons to Michael Bublé, albeit steeped in a more melancholic context.

Less melancholy, but still introspective, "Film" switches thematic lenses to the role of technology in modern intimacy. "Got my eyes on you like I'm shootin' a film," he croons. A lo-fi R&B bed complements the seductive lyrics like "You're a ship without a captain. Baby, I'm the sea." Blew cleverly navigates the intersection of digital voyeurism and genuine connection, creating an intimate soundscape that feels both vintage and eerily contemporary.

As a powerful finale, "Yes" swells with the grandeur of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. It is a celebration of self-acceptance, a triumphant acknowledgment of past pains transformed into hopeful anticipation for the future. As the strings slowly build, affirming lyrics resound. "I understand where I've been" and "the circle of finding and leaving behind" emphasize this pivotal point in Blew's artistic voyage—embracing his identity and moving forward with a profound sense of purpose.

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Every track on Away at Sea offers an unmistakable glimpse into Blew's struggles. Dark and seductive tracks like "Still In My System" twist the heart beside warmer, gentler tracks like "Candle" or funky, upbeat rom-com moments in "Bicycle". There's unmasked pain in "Second Son" and unmitigated hope in "Beacon", but it's the album as a whole that speaks louder than any single track.

Produced by Kevin Ann Dye, Away at Sea goes beyond any single emotional journey. From personal loss to redemptive celebrations, towards self-discovery and away from toxicity, climbing out of the depths of despair and into the heights of personal triumph—it collects the human experience into ten tracks of love, grief, and catharsis.

Stream Away at Sea below.

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