I’ve been following the music of The All-About for a few years now. I was instantly a fan the first time I heard the song “Feel Weird Hit Of The Winter” off 2012’s Winterpop. Something about Zac Coe’s music connects with me more intensely than most, so I’m happy to count him not only as a big part of my life’s soundtrack but also a friend (though we’ve never met face-to-face). It took a couple years, but April 1st will find the world with a new The All-About record to enjoy, and it is a definite left turn for the Synth Kid.
Be Safe Goodbye was recorded at Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen by mix master General Oliver Ignatius, just like Zac’s previous work. This time they changed things up, took away the synths and threw in some pedal steel and mandolin to give the must a country tinge that works better than you’d think. Last week Zac was nice enough to let me premiere the track “All Your CD’s” here on Music.Defined. and it really is a great introduction to the sound they were going for.
Be Safe continues to shine a light on Zac’s reliable co-singer Gabby Ambrosio. “If This City” gives her a bit more to do than usual, and she works it for everything she can get. It isn’t the kind of showy vocal runs and glass-shattering octaves that some singers engage in; rather it’s the emotional resonance and sincerity in her voice that sticks with you. I don’t know her, so I have no idea if she has an interest in putting out her own records or is happy just to help Zac out, but she could definitely have a career of her own if she wished.
The lyrics to that one, which premiered the week before “All Your CD’s” over on New York Magazine’s Bedford and Bowery page, work best when you’re hearing them from both Gabby and Zac together: “I want you to love me, the way you did when we met. Show me what I was missing, sharing only my bed. If this city doesn’t kill me, you’ll be the reason why. Took a twin bed in a ghost town, made it a playground. Took a picture of yourself waving goodbye.”
Be Safe Goodbye is easily Zac’s most mature work to date. That makes a lot of sense: Life has changed a lot for him in the last two years and that means there’s a lot of fodder for songwriting. A lot of the themes will be familiar to long time listeners. There’s always a sense of nostalgia to his music that seems odd for someone so young, but he does it well and it rings true song after song.
The record will be out in a week or so. If you want to check out some of Zac’s earlier stuff, I would highly recommend doing so. You can find most of it on his Bandcamp page (the Synth Kid EP seems to have been taken down, sadly).