It’s something of a small irony that in 2014, a young and talented singer-songwriter can garner acclaim for what in some ways seems a backhanded slight: He’s kind of old school good.
Translation: He sings good, he writes good, he plays good, he looks good—but that last thing? Who cares? If there’s anything that will launch 26-year-old Sutter Zachman to fame, it will not be a flashy music video, or a cameo appearance by Iggy Azalea on his latest single, or a fashion spread in a distinguished fashion magazine that nobody normal reads.
What will kickstart the career of young Mr. Zachman will be the quality of his music–available at the very moment on Repeat Offender, his debut EP on indie label Modern Roots Music, and quite good. Between the four songs on display within, there’s enough substance to justify those stylistic comparisons to L.A.’s distinguished Laurel Canyon, and just enough unique spark to merit closer examination.
A California native who made some local noise almost a decade ago as half of the U.S. Mail Band, Zachman hit the industry early, signed a music publishing deal, then unceremoniously exited–until his fairly recent return, marked not only by the Repeat Offender EP but by radio acclaim in, of all places, Ireland, for its opening track “Back To Sleep.” Good for him: This is the way buzz builds.
Zachman recently dropped by Yahoo’s Music Room to say hello and offer up a few tracks from the new EP, and we were suitably impressed by his gracious manner, his singing and playing skills, and the feeling that we were witnessing a young artist with a significant career ahead of him. There’s a bit of the young Rick Nelson about him vocally, and a sense of substance—not flash—in the songs he sings that promises much. We liked what we heard, and we think you will, too.