Zack Fletcher is a prolific singer-songwriter and guitarist from Ohio. The ghosts of his life experience pervade his uniquely crafted songs through poetic lyricism, riveting guitar patterns, and ethereal melodies. His music has been described as profound, emotional, and haunting; a musical catharsis resulting in a powerful live performance and an intimate listening experience.
Signifying a new journey for the intricately sculpted sounds of Zack Fletcher, his most recent single “The Traveler,” has us falling into the profound nature of his craft.
There’s a brewing intimacy that enlarges in the strength it offers as we take this record in from start to finish. The overall rush that comes from the sentimental roots flourishing in the captivating sounds conveyed is a team effort between Zack Fletcher and Michael Estok at Court Street Recording.
Through a medley of exquisite guitar riffs that accompany the atmospheric launch of resonance in the instrumentation, “The Traveler,” has us feeling the music on a level that can’t be deprived of. Zack Fletcher’s robust croons wrap you in a blanket of security as he navigates us through the meaningful words he reiterates through this soundscape.
Pulling us into the compelling origins of this track, Zack Fletcher draws us towards lyrical motifs such as, ‘so, show me, my friend, how the days ahead will change me.’ Delivering us to a sense of clarity basking in reverberated hues of brilliance, what we take away from the emotion felt in “The Traveler,” is truly remarkable.
Speaking into the new paths that Zack Fletcher is soon to embark on, this release acts as the perfect trajectory into all that Zack Fletcher is becoming.
We admire the depth and grace that you convey through “The Traveler.” With such a staple moment for you in terms of releases, what is the significance that this song holds to you?
Thanks so much for the kind words! “The Traveler” has been in my repertoire for quite some time, waiting for the right collection of songs for a proper release. Over the pandemic, Ohio Reveries came together from bits and pieces of every era of my songwriting. Way back in 2013, I submitted a performance video of an early draft of “The Traveler” to a national songwriting competition. It was the first song of mine that garnered lots of community support, which helped me place in the top 20 out of over 7,000 entrants. That support always meant a lot to me.
Lyrically, “The Traveler” was inspired by a few people I knew who passed suddenly. Each of them was clearly so loved and full of life, it was difficult to come to terms with. So “The Traveler” is meant to be a reminder of life’s fragility and brevity and hopes to inspire a desire to live to the fullest because there are some who are not afforded that time. All that said, it felt very right to have it as the lead single of Ohio Reveries, and means a lot to have this recorded version out in the world.
What was it like working with Michael Estok in order to bring this vision to fruition? In what capacity did you two work together on this beautiful collaboration?
The Ohio Reveries sessions helped me rise out of a place of uncertainty. I owe a lot of that to working with Michael at Court Street Recording. His ability and knowledge as a producer/musician are amazing, but it was his encouragement and positivity that made the studio experience revitalizing for me. I had worked with him previously on my instrumental guitar EP, Vignettes, which was recorded in a single day. For Ohio Reveries, we focused on just one song per day. We laid the foundation and atmosphere of each song and specifically made sure the guitar and vocal tracks were as solid as possible. After our sessions, Michael and I stayed in close contact while he fleshed them out more and more to materialize their ideal versions. As a multi-instrumentalist, he played the majority of the accompanying instruments like piano and cello. “The Traveler” also features his wife, Emily Estok, on the vocal harmony, and Rajma McKenzie on the violin. The arrangements are inspired and really help the emotion and beauty of the songs shine through. I remember sending over the demos and having some introductory discussions. There was excitement over the possibilities of the material, and I couldn’t be more proud of what our work together became.
How does “The Traveler,” compare to other songs that can be heard on your music catalog?
“The Traveler” is much greater in scope than the other material released under my own name so far. Vignettes and Dead Ends are essentially single-track, live run-throughs recorded in the studio. In contrast, the Ohio Reveries collection is a full production with rich arrangements and many layers. In that way, it’s more akin to my Moths in the Attic material, but trends on the folkier side as opposed to the alternative. “The Traveler” probably has the most mainstream appeal out of anything I’ve recorded up to now and has a lightness that contrasts with some of the weighty thematic elements on the Moths in the Attic album.
I’m really proud of my growing solo and MITA catalog. I think listeners will find the development and variety interesting. While each project has its unique place in the catalog, I think my songwriting voice is still recognizable throughout. I recently created a Spotify playlist with all of my recorded works (including “The Traveler”) for anyone interested: https://spoti.fi/2Vsr3KA
What message do you aim to send out to your audience through the music that you craft?
I suppose the overarching message of my music is to not be afraid to grapple with things in life that are emotionally difficult. In my experience, bottling or neglecting to deal with those things can be damaging to yourself or others. I’d encourage everyone to find a way to explore and express those feelings through dialogue, art, or through their passions. That’s exactly what songwriting has been for me: a therapeutic endeavor. It’s a medium to explore themes and ideas like love, pain, or other life experiences that can be hard for me to express otherwise, focusing that energy into something positive, productive, or beautiful.