Album Review: Zak and Erin – Bury Me In The Prairie

bury-meZak and Erin are a Folk duo from the prairieland and based in Illinois, USA. Never having listened to their music before, I went in to their current album Bury Me In The Prairie completely blind.

Zak and Erin are hard to place genre wise. I always find that a good thing as it shows a lot of originality and sets an artist apart from another and makes it hard for comparisons. I would say this album is a mix of folk, bluegrass, Americana and maybe even a bit of country.

Sonically, this album is flawless. There is so much to like about it. If I was a musician and could name you every instrument involved in this album, I would but I am not, so I can’t – but the use of instrumentation and the detail to every note is quite attentive and a joy to listen to. I sit here trying to figure out every one that is used as they deliver such a wonderful combined sound yet stand out individually too. On track one I am sure they even use a bike bell(?). There is also a dog barking in the background of the albums intro. It’s little details like that, that make me remember a song or a band and I am certainly going to remember Zak and Erin for this album.

Vocally, Zak and Erin’s voices blend beautifully. Erin, in particular has a very distinctive voice that is incredibly powerful. Her tone is somewhat harsh but in a good way with a very gritty feel to it. Zak compliments Erin well with a gentler tone which makes their voices work so well together. Zak has that wonderful folk tone to his vocal and they both have voices of experience and maturity which deliver a very honest and interesting sound.

A lot of the songs on this album are fairly short, as in under two minutes – but it works.

Bury Me In The Prairie is a compelling, sonically gratifying masterpiece. There is something very western about this album too. Its upbeat, it’s mid tempo, it’s busy, and I find myself quite entranced listening to it. In fact every time I listen to it, I discover something new. It’s like walking past a street you have visited so many times and each time you stop and ask, hey! Was that always there?

Lyrically it does not lack either. The words are all interesting and quirky, almost haunting/dark folk type lyrics in places.

If you appreciate good music and are a lover of every genre then this album is worth listening to and I urge you to give it a go. I love finding wonderfully different artists, that leave quite an impact and that’s what Zak and Erin have done with this album.

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Review by Hannah Compton

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