For Zac Brown Band, the title The Comeback has layers of meaning. Sonically, it’s a return to form for the band, who experimented with pop and electronic music on earlier releases like 2015’s Jekyll + Hyde and 2019’s The Owl. It also finds the band, like the rest of the music industry, emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic ready to return to the stage, with tracks that will surely lend themselves to dynamic live shows. Highlights include the anthemic opening track “Slow Burn,” which recalls the arena-ready country rock of the band’s earlier albums, and the playful “Fun Having Fun,” which, as its title suggests, celebrates the small, often silly moments that make life meaningful. Hit single “Same Boat” appears too, with its sentiment of unity and togetherness echoed on the LP’s title track. “This one was definitely more of an intentional one, because we set out to write everything for this,” Brown tells Apple Music. “And when we boiled down all the songs that we'd written, and we left off a good 10 songs that we didn't record on this to try to make that journey, we knew that the best ones would stick out.” Below, Brown shares insight into several key tracks on The Comeback.
“Slow Burn” “I love how that one turned out. I love playing it live. It's definitely a good intro to everything. We put a lot of thought into how to make it a journey going through the album, and it takes you up and brings you back down again, mixing some of the fun and some of the heavy stuff at the right time.”
“The Comeback” “I love this country. And it was hard to see, this last year and a half, what we were painted as, with the media and the great division and the politics and everything. It was hard for me to see that, because that's not the America that I know. I know that there's pockets of our people are suffering, and I'm not making light of that. So the song ‘The Comeback,’ I feel like it's time for people to put their differences aside and see how we're all the same, rather than how we're different.”
“Same Boat” “It's great to get to play it live. And because it's been picking up traction on the radio, people are getting more and more familiar with it. So now it's just when we play the guitar intro, the people know it's there, it's coming. And hearing people singing it back to us is cool.”
“Fun Having Fun” “I have this redneck buddy that's in North Carolina and he's always drinking beer. At any given time, he's like 10 Bud Lights into his day. And so when I get to spend time with him, hanging out or whatever, sometimes he'd be like, ‘Hey, Zac, it’s fun having fun.’ Then I thought it needs to be a song. And then I just thought of all the dumb crap that I did when I was a kid and what other kids do.”
“Closer to Heaven” (feat. Gregory Porter) “I'm just a massive fan of Gregory Porter. And then, as that song started to have a little bit more of an R&B/soul feel to it, I was like, ‘Man, what if I ask Gregory to sing on it?’ I love that cross-pollination that happens. I think he's going to come out and do some shows with us. He is so good. That first album, ‘Real Good Hands,’ that's an unbelievable record. And I want more people to know about the good stuff.”