Review: Daniel Piotrowski on Zack Fletcher's 'Vignettes' EP
May 25th, 2020. It's the first truly hot day since the before times. Golden sunshine glistens off the waves of fresh green grass. When you breathe in, you breathe in life. The warmth of the air is the sure sign that we have made it through the winter and now the long summer nights await us. This is our reward for our struggles against mother nature. A perfect day.
Zack Fletcher’s newest album Vignettes feels like the audio representation of how we will remember this day. Before I heard this album, I only knew the word vignette from that filter on my iPhone. You know the one. It puts black around the edges of your photos and makes everything much more dramatic. It turns out another meaning for vignette is "a brief incident or scene." The music on this album sounds like a fond recollection of the small things that matter.
A memory or a dream. This album is a dream sequence. Running in a meadow with your first true love. Losing it all but growing it again. Forgiving a mistake because holding a grudge makes you feel worse than the transgression. Growing old and dying a peaceful death surrounded by family. The final thought that goes through your head as you take your last breath is, "I did good." Satisfaction. One night after Zack played a solo show in Toledo we met for cheeseburgers and pie at Schmuckers. He told me he was working on a new album and it was going to be an instrumental. I told him, "Zack, you're an amazing guitar player but too not include your voice is a mistake." Good thing he didn't listen to me because I was wrong. In my defense if you have heard Zack sing in his previous releases or shows you would know I'm not wrong to question a Zack Fletcher album with no singing. It is a very small production. Just Zack and his guitar, some delay, and some reverb. The performance though, is large and captivating. A sound I would describe as post folk rock. These aren't songs. These are pieces of music. The guitar on this album are the words that don't need to be said or sang. Its peacefulness is a great contrast to the turbulent times we have been living in. You can feel the gratitude and love Zack has for his wife in this album. I don't know for sure but I feel like a lot of this album is inspired by her. It's a beautiful feeling and one that a lot of us long for. It is also a nice reminder that things can feel good and relationships can work. Most fittingly he teamed up with her to record the music video to the final piece on the album "The Paths We Choose." Vignettes is a 15-minute reminder of the good times that were before and the good times that are ahead. It is available on all streaming platforms. https://open.spotify.com/album/79zgiatsMemlPLTevDdr0M?si=3_PoIpctSqSvCwDL_0Z2JQ
~ Dan Piotrowski