Be aware going into this that I have no idea what the original sounds like. In fact, I have no idea who Chris Stapleton is to even get an intuition of what it might sound like. Yes, I can look this up and inform myself, but insomuch as possible, I prefer a Harold Bloom approach to music writing that allows for a “text” only reading of the material, which in this case is the music as presented by Zach Longoria, or rather by the Zach Longoria Project. To that last point, this does sound like a home recorded take that features Longoria alone with a guitar, a little lo-fi (coughs included), but more raw for it. As it goes, this is more Zach Longoria and less project, but really that’s just splitting hairs.
What I can tell you is that he goes for it, and he goes for it hard. Longoria has an incredible range and a solid grasp on his interest, both in terms of the guitar and his voice. This feels heartfelt and earned, which given the lyrical content is necessary to sell the premise, of everlasting love, that kind of love that has to work, that you work for, because you have to. You can’t live without it. For a lesser songwriter (cough*pop country*cough) that premise comes off as trite and saccharine, a tedious Hallmark card meant that lacks to my ears any and all sincerity; you sing about love and people eat that shit up, because everyone can relate in their own way.
But Longoria slays here in a way that delivers. Listening through now a few times, I’m just going to say that yes, it is absolutely relative to the lo-fi production as much as his voice. This is bare bones and raw to the nerve, a divinely exposed track that doesn’t flinch or pull back. And I’ll take that a million times over slick Nashville production. Yawn. Listen below and get on board the ZLP train. Toot toot, jerks.