When Zaac Pick sings about the inconstancy of time, you can’t help but believe he has the experience to back it up. The Vancouver singer-songwriter brings an older-than-his-years wisdom to every melody his new four-song EP, Whitewater.
Zaac’s brand of rootsy folk-pop earned acclaim after the release of his first solo EP, Fierce Wind in 2009. The album’s six elegantly layered tracks gained him a reputation for compelling lyrics and singable melodies. Among them, the elegiac ballad, ‘My Century’, also won him the top prize in Vancouver’s Shore 104FM Song Search. Three other tracks earned spots on popular TV dramas, One Tree Hill, Degrassi and Ghost Whisperer.
His graceful sophomore EP, released in late November 2011, upholds this eloquent narrative, but brings a maturity and seasoned tenor that reflects two steady years of writing and touring. Fierce Wind’s summery ease gives way to Whitewater’s autumnal maturity. What the songs retain are the same layers of meaning and unapologetic romance.
Whitewater’s title track opens with a quiet momentum and fleshes out into a toe-tapping reflection on time, moving on with or without you: “Time is a river, moving so fast / Over the banks of the bodies we have/Time is a river, don’t know how deep/We wade in and get swept off our feet.”
Time is the thread that holds together each of the four tracks as they settle into nature-driven metaphors and gospel-inspired refrains. The album saunters on, revealing Zaac as a poet, first and foremost, and exposing the influence of favourite 20th century troubadours like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Emmylou Harris, and Paul Simon to name a few. Recorded primarily at Nimbus School of the Recording Arts, Whitewater was produced by Canadian industry giants GGGarth Richardson and Shawn Cole (Yukon Blonde, Hannah Georgas) and was made possible in part by Zaac’s Song Search win.
Zaac spent much of 2011 road-testing tracks on stages across western Canada, while breaking ground in Toronto with a top spot during Canadian Music Week, and in the US with two shows during SXSW in Austin, TX. Along the way he has shared stages with the likes of The Civil Wars, Yukon Blonde, Aidan Knight, and Leeroy Stagger.
2012 has seen the Whitewater EP nominated for a West Coast Music Award for Best Solo Roots Recording, the title track added into regular rotation on CBC 3, and the accompanying video on MuchMusic. With a cross-country tour behind him, Zaac is currently working on his first full-length album.