Love Letter To A Record: Zac Eichner On Gang of Youths’ ‘Go Farther In Lightness’

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Zac Eichner: Gang of Youths – Go Farther In Lightness (2017)

Oh, Dave. Where do I begin?

Go Farther In Lightness is, and I have no doubt, will continue to be an inspiration for me. I can’t figure out whether it’s the incredible vocabulary and language in every song, the seamless string transitions, or the way each instrument enters and exits with purpose and vigour that both breaks and pieces back together my heart.

I feel like these songs have been written with such ambiguity and stunning symbolism that these 77 minutes of absolute beauty and cathartic power give me everything I need.

On my last tour, I drove approximately 4,200km down the east coast of Australia. It took me three-and-a-half weeks and was taxing, yet extremely rewarding. I found myself time and time again thinking: “Man, I hope people enjoy my company more than I do.” Luckily, I had you to with me, and these long drives allowed me to listen to the album in full, over and over again. With each listen, I discovered a new subtlety, a new lyric, and, more often than not, something about myself.

‘Keep Me In The Open’ through to ‘Go Farther in Lightness’ is an emotional beatdown. A vulnerability and pain-embracing massacre that was pivotal in a lot of my writing. I wouldn’t be nearly as passionate about string arrangements if it weren’t for these songs. My compositions can’t compete with the genius of you, but I’m appreciative, nonetheless.

Obviously, my appreciation includes the transition from ‘Le symbolique’ to ‘Let Me Down Easy’, which is so smooth it gives me all the goosebumps. 2:14 hits on ‘Le symbolique’, and I just want to start running, not sure what towards, but I know I’m heading somewhere better. It’s light and effervescent.

When we get to ‘Let Me Down Easy’, I can’t stop my “da dadada da da da dada da.” I feel like I’m reaching whatever that place is that I’m running toward. I’m not sure how this song translates to others, but surely dictionary.com copped a beating when it was released. What kind of lingual genius fits the word solipsism into a song? I feel like Dave has reminded me of how to be human. It’s one big push to be brave, be open, take risks, don’t be scared of love and rejection – just go for it, life’s too short.

I was going through a really shitty time for a solid month of my life. I’m often not happy with the way I look and think, I get a little self-destructive at times, and self-loathe more often than I should. Without an inch of shame, I listened to ‘Say Yes To Life’ every morning throughout that month to keep me going; and it did. It kept me going through all of the pain, the bullshit, the constant doubts, and the mistakes that I kept making. “Say yes to pain” was yet another friendly reminder that “you’re human Zac, you’re gonna hurt, but how incredible is this life you get to live!” I get to write music for the people I love, people I’ve never met, and those that I hope to with the potential to really impact someone’s life.

Thank you, Dave & The Gang. You’ve saved and inspired me more times than you could imagine. Go Farther In Lightness is healing. It has given me hope and serves as a reminder, through love, loss, tragedy, joy, or anything else – choose life.

All my love, Zac xx

P.S. Thank you for the reminder of that old magnolia tree in Go Farther In Lightness. It sent me back to another album that I’ll probably write a letter about soon.

Adelaide-based indie-electronic artist Zac Eichner has just revealed tour dates and his glowing double A-side release ‘Naked & Autumn’, two songs that fluently complement one another with their brooding, yet euphoric characteristics.

Taking cues from contemporaries Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), Bon Iver and Hozier, the paired effort cements Zac’s sound as he showcases two equally moving sides of the same coin.

It’s sophisticated, soul-stirring and oh-so-life-affirming stuff. Eichner’s voice will reduce your heart to a puddle.

Stream ‘Naked & Autumn’ & catch Zac Eichner’s full list of tour dates below.

Zac Eichner – ‘Naked & Autumn’ 2020 Launch Parties

Friday, 3rd January

The Milk Factory, Brisbane

Wednesday, 8th January

The Gasometer, Melbourne

Friday, 10th January

Rye Hotel, Mornington Peninsula

Saturday, 11th January

Jive, Adelaide

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