- Bartender Zach Churchill 4:28
Zach Churchill has today released his new single titled ‘Bartender’. When you read below the tale behind the song, you will garner not only an appreciation about the song but a realization. A realization that life is as fragile as it is precious. A life saved is a life earned. A chance to right your wrongs. A chance to better yourself. A chance to change. And ‘Bartender’ perfectly captures that moment of epiphany with raw emotion and sense of self with a beautiful hook and deep, deep lyrics. This is a perfect example of when music documents as well as heals.
Emerging singer-songwriter, Zach Churchill, has just released his debut single, “Bartender.” The California native opens up about a near-death experience in a powerful ballad. The song is written out of gratitude for the bar manager who saved his life after finding him dying of an overdose on the bathroom floor. “Bartender” is available to download and stream on all digital platforms worldwide.
Zach Churchill balances raw, honest lyrics with moving instrumentals, resulting in a gut-wrenching portrayal of his battle with addiction. The swelling guitar alongside a driving drumline will captivate his audience as they are engulfed in the emotional undertones that vibrate through each verse. “In 2014, I overdosed on heroin at a bar after performing there,” Churchill explains his inspiration for the single. “Everyone left, and the bar closed. The bar manager was getting ready to leave when he saw the lights still on in the bathroom. He went to turn them off, but the door was locked. He got a key from the back office and returned to find me on the bathroom floor, dying.” The release coincides with National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and “Sober October”; two causes that hit home for Churchill. “If [the bartender] had just gone home that night without checking the bathroom, I wouldn’t be here today,” he states. “I have been sober from all drugs and alcohol ever since that event and it has completely changed my life. He gave me a second chance.” The song was written by Zach Churchill and Julian Coryell, who also produced and played on the track. Churchill also recruited Stevie Blacke on strings and Eva B. Ross on backing vocals to complete the sound.
With an expressively vulnerable voice, singer-songwriter Zach Churchill breathes life, love, and gratitude into absorbing narratives. His folk-rock style is influenced by legendary alternative and rock artists such as Elton John, Radiohead, and David Bowie. He attributes his vocal inspiration to jazz musician Chet Baker and Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant. Churchill began singing as a child, learned how to play the acoustic guitar at age 13, and began writing songs a few years later. He earned a degree in Music Industry Studies from CSUN after studying vocal performance at Saddleback College and CSUF. “Bartender” is the first single off of his debut collection, Heartbreak and Hope.
About Zach Churchill
With an expressively vulnerable voice, singer-songwriter Zach Churchill breathes life, love, and gratitude into absorbing narratives. Sophisticated arrangements, inventive modulations, and superlative musicality are hallmarks of the Orange County, California native’s debut collection, Heartbreak and Hope. 11 songs serve as musical mile markers commemorating a ten-year journey through his twenties — a decade that he barely survived.
He pulls no punches: His lead single “Bartender” chronicles a harrowing heroin overdose. “The person I’m singing to saved my life,” Zach explains. “He was closing up at 2:00 a.m. at the venue when I overdosed. Everyone was gone, but he checked the bathroom because the light was on. The door was locked, so he got the key and found me. If he had just gone home I’d be dead.” In the hospital, after a medically induced coma, Zach was forced to face his family and himself. “You hit your bottom when you stop digging,” he says. “The song is all about my saying ‘I’m done.’”
Heartbreak and Hope was recorded with noted producer, artist, and multi-instrumentalist Julian Coryell who invited key musicians to power the tracks. Notes Zach, “Julian was able to take my songs and put them in new outfits, to vary them stylistically and create dynamic contrasts. I can’t say enough about his musicianship and his ability to help me get to the truth of what I wanted to say.”
Zach’s truth is the defining through-line. A bouncy horn-driven arrangement with a pronounced pop chorus on “I May Be,” is a study in contrast with the line, “I might be in hell today/But tomorrow I could be made whole.” Tempestuous romance shades the pensive “Are We Still Here.” The hard-hitting “Start Over” asks, “If you could be born again/Would you do it all the same?” As Zach observes, “I would do things differently. I make mistakes every day, but to go back and correct them would defeat the purpose. I’m grateful for exactly where I am.”
On a recent journey, Zach traveled The Camino de Santiago, an ancient European pilgrim route leading to the tomb of St. James in northwest Spain, a sacred path with a profound history. “I was surrounded by people who were on the pilgrimage for spiritual reasons, this great family,” he recalls. “With the right attitude, every day of my life can be an adventure like The Camino.”
The concluding words in his title track, “Heartbreak and Hope” impart this benediction: “Thank you for listening/I love you, goodnight.” Inspired by the hope he references, Zach Churchill faces his demons with clear-eyed courage. Across this span of songs, his testimony is offered with transcendent sincerity. “The failed relationships, the loss of people, the search for identity,” he concludes. “It’s all real and it’s my story.”