Premiere: Zach Russell Shares New Single “Playing House” | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, February 29th, 2024  

Premiere: Zach Russell Shares New Single “Playing House”

New Album Where The Flowers Meet The Dew Out December 1st via Thirty Tigers

Nov 28, 2023 Photography by Emma Delevante
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Later this week, Tennessee-based singer/songwriter Zach Russell is set to share his forthcoming debut album, Where The Flowers Meet The Dew. Prior to the record’s release, Russell spent a decade in Nashville, working at odd jobs like shoe store manager, karaoke host, irrigation system installer, and tour merch manager for Tyler Childers, all while trying to write his own story as a singer and songwriter. However, it took leaving the city for his hometown in East Tennessee for the foundations of his debut album to truly begin to take shape. In his new familiar locale, Russell began to reach for unfamiliar sounds, painting with a wider stylistic palette and incorporating ambitious song structures into his music.

Russell has already teased the record with a series of singles, “Born Again,” “Milk & Honey,” and “Take Me Back To Tennessee,” and today he’s back with the album’s final single, “Playing House,” premiering with Under the Radar.

“Playing House” shows off Russell’s sprawling and emotive side, steeping his winding melodies in mid-tempo grooves, twangy guitar lines, and a plaintive refrain. The track has an earnestness and warmth to it that makes it undeniably catchy, but Russell’s lyrics let the track truly shine as a work of pastoral magnetism. “Playing House” both offers a portrait of an idyllic family life and dissects its facade. Under Russell’s eye, life’s smallest moments come off as parts in a play, roles we act out almost unthinkingly. Yet, he also finds beauty and peace in the same gray acts of habit. As the song winds onward, he takes the time to celebrate his loved ones and finds ways to imbue life’s rote routines with meaning. He confesses, “Man it feels like make believe / When I watch you put on Maybelline / I guess it’s just as real as anything else / We pick out things we like to read / Settle in our own routine / Bit by bit we figure this thing out / Sometimes it seems like we’re just playing house.”

Russell says of the track, “I wrote ‘Playing House’ while smoking a cigarette outside my house in Nashville after returning home from a long road trip. I had been affected by a family I had visited and had been turning the situation over in mind for the majority of the ride. Watching them go about their lives had given me some sort of temporary tortured narrator’s view of life and love. I saw them as children completely immersed in a shared fantasy. Like it wasn’t real. It looked like they were Playing House.

I didn’t like how this view made me feel. It felt like it was attempting to rob me of meaning. So,I put myself in the center of the story and started writing about it. The conclusion I came to was that it is just Playing House, then I’m playing, baby. What else is there?”

Check out the song and video below. Where The Flowers Meet The Dew is out December 1st via Thirty Tigers.


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