Based out of San Antonio, improvised vocalist Zack Foley is about to release his sophomore album A Bird in the Hand on July 14th.
“My sophomore record A Bird in the Hand is the fruit of joyful experimentation with voice and fuzz that took place against the backdrop of burning out as a social worker during the pandemic and moving from Brooklyn to Texas to care for my father, which in turn triggered generational trauma with my mother,” says Foley. “A Bird in the Hand documents a personal journey of transformation and healing. Just before the pandemic hit, I began exploring guitar-based effects after visiting Ryan Ferreira’s music studio. I was riveted by the depth of Ryan’s sound and his creative relationship with modulation and processing. For years I’d been trying to make the sounds I was hearing in my head with my ‘acoustic’ voice. Especially when improvising, I was going for a more ‘instrumental’ sound. With encouragement from Ryan and other guitar playing buddies, I started messing around, first with delays and reverbs, and eventually with overdrive and fuzz pedals. Fuzz was the game changer. Searching for happy accidents, way down the rabbit hole of fuzz, I eventually landed on the Germanium Fuzz Face, which imbues my voice with the loveliest characteristics of fuzz while retaining my core vocal sound. Burning the midnight oil with fuzz, melodies emerged out of open-ended improvisations.”
Today Foley has dropped the video to the album’s title track. The director of the video, Josh Jennings, says, “The stillness of the desert, the dust of time blowing over an earth that has been here for eons, a dream that arises and vanishes like a breath, the impressions of life, rising and falling, memories that come and go, emerging and fading in each passing moment, the cosmos contained in a grain of sand, the oceans of the earth a place of birth and rebirth – the delicate sensitivity needed to grasp the immensity of this life, this wonderful life, like a bird in the hand – hold it carefully, dearly, precious, and protected.”
According to Foley, working with guitarist Ryan Ferreira and bassist Chris Tordini on the upcoming release allowed him to relax and let the music breathe. The chemistry between the trio was already locked in as they played a handful of shows together in 2018-2019 under the moniker Heavy Lettuce. Four songs on the record (“Nooch Lady,” “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush,” “Flavor Heat,” and “Bodo Beya”) feature this trio. The landscape of the Texas Hill Country also played a major role into the recording process; long drives down winding country roads, listening to music and taking in the big sky, wildflowers, hills, rivers and streams was heavily explored.