The world of acoustic music is about to get a new household name. The music of The Lone Bellow is born from tragedy and told with heart and simplicity. Zach Williams, a singer and songwriter for this Brooklyn-based group, is originally from Georgia, and his words began to flow following his wife's catastrophic horse riding accident that nearly left her paralyzed. Listen to The Lone Bellows' song "Two Sides of Lonely," from the band's forthcoming self-titled album.
Williams was encouraged to write by his friend, the songwriter Caleb Clardy. At first, his words were scribbles in a journal, often written in rhythm and rhyme but not intended as songs. When Caleb Clardy saw what Zach Williams had written, he said, "These are songs, man, you need to learn how to play the guitar and sing at he same time." Eventually, Zach Williams, along with his miraculously-rehabilitated wife and some friends, moved to New York City.
In New York, he began performing with a few other musicians as Zach Williams and The Bellow, and then renamed the band The Lone Bellow. "We write songs from personal experiences in our lives," Zach Williams tells us. "Tragedy, hope, betrayal and redemption ebb and flow throughout this record. This song is particularly hard as it falls in the betrayal category. Every time we sing this song together I re-live the feeling of being betrayed, of losing my love, of wanting to turn my back on everything I held close. It makes you go to those places, which is why I wrestled with singing this song in public when I first wrote it, but after I sang it for the first time I realized it was a moment in our record and in our show that needed to happen. After singing it in New York for several months, a group of talented photographers, videographers and musicians had the idea to go spend the weekend together in a cabin in upstate N.Y. to make a video that could help capture what happens when we sing this song live. The urgency of the moment that usually happens in a live performance came through that day with the help of the cold elements of that old church in Tannersville, N.Y."
The video's most powerful moments occur in that old church, as the band members gather around the piano together. The emotion is raw and real and washes over them, made all the more powerful by the video's crisp black and white photography.
The album it comes from was produced by Charlie Peacock — a name you may recognize as the producer for The Civil Wars. The Lone Bellow will be out on January 22.