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Here’s What You Need to Know About Zach Bryan’s New EP, ‘Boys of Faith’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

There are few artists that crank out music as quickly as Zach Bryan, and it’s one of the many reasons his fans are so devoted. The fast-rising star has gained an incredibly large following in the past year, with ticket prices skyrocketing and streams multiplying by the hundreds of thousands. It is clear that he is passionate about his music, and his growth into the music industry is a heartwarming and home-grown story. From enlisting in the United States Navy at the age of 17 to being honorably discharged to pursue his musical dreams, Bryan has proven time and time again that songwriting is his calling, and he loves to share his voice with the world.

Just one month ago, on Aug. 24, Bryan released a 16-track album, the self-titled Zach Bryan. In typical Bryan style, he also released an extended play album (EP) only 28 days later, on Sep. 22. This new EP, titled Boys of Faith, is hot off the record press and proves that Bryan is a music-releasing machine. Four days before he released this EP, Bryan teased his fans with a clip of a new song with the Instagram caption, “Locked myself in a studio all week, wrote myself through a notebook, walked around with people I love in the city then went campin, felt restful and hopeful, thankful for breathing no matter the day, just grateful.” Everybody was ecstatic that he was coming out with new songs so quickly.

This isn’t the first time that he’s done this. Bryan is always satisfying his fans with a constant flood of new releases. Four months after the release of his album American Heartbreak in May 2022, he released an EP titled Summertime Blues. One month after that, he released an entire live album titled All My Homies Hate Ticketmaster on Christmas Day. Not only does he consistently write new songs and record new music, but these songs also consistently end up on the Billboard Top Lists. Rolling Stone even said that he is reviving country music.

As a consistent follower of Zach Bryan myself, the first thing I did the morning of his EP release was listen to every song on repeat. Here is my review and rating of each song from Boys of Faith.

“Nine Ball” (7.45/10)

The lyrics of “Nine Ball” depict the story of a son and father plagued by a gambling addiction. In the first verse, the son tells the listeners about a pool cue given to him by his father — hence the song title “Nine Ball” — and his attempts to stray away from his father’s footsteps. When the son turns 12, his father starts betting on his son’s pool games. The song ends with the father betting on a check that he cannot pay off. All in all, I do feel as though this is one of the more impactful songs on Bryan’s EP, as it discusses generational addictions and the harms of absent parents. However, I do only rate it a 7.45 out of 10 because of the repetitive chords and similarity to his other songs such as “Motorcycle Drive By” on his Summertime Blues EP.

“Sarah’s Place (feat. Noah Kahan)” (7.5/10)

“Sarah’s Place” is a song about an ex-lover who recently moved out of Sarah’s home, implying that Sarah is the ex-girlfriend’s mother. Eventually, the end of the song reveals that the two lovers will reunite after the narrator sells his guitar to get a plane ticket to see her. The song features Noah Kahan, another hot-rising artist who has a folk vibe to his songs, and he most definitely adds that element to “Sarah’s Place” as well. This song breaches the boundaries of Bryan’s folk side, the lyrics are sentimental, and it has a restoring ending. “Sarah’s Place” is slightly better than “Nine Ball” in my opinion but it’s still not the best on the album, so I rate it a 7.5 out of 10.

“Deep Satin” (7.75/10)

Bryan teased “Deep Satin” for a while, and many fans were sad to find out it was not put on his record in August. However, he did not disappoint because he turned around and put it on his EP. Although the verses of the song are great, the chorus is mediocre. Out of all of his recent songs, this one does not stand apart for any reason. Therefore, it is a 7.75 out of 10 and placed in the middle of my rankings for the album songs.

“Pain, Sweet, Pain” (8.2/10)

The chords and riffs of “Pain Sweet Pain” are the most folksy out of the whole EP, and I like its unique style. Although the lyrics of this song don’t land with me as much as some of the other tracks, the music and instruments really save it for me. With that being said, the lyrics are by no means bad. The interesting thing about this song is that Bryan actually released it on his YouTube when he was just starting off and rerecorded it for the EP. The tracks of this release are all very sentimental and meaningful, and this one in particular most definitely pulled on my heartstrings.

“Boys of Faith (feat. Bon Iver)” (8.75/10)

The fan favorite for this EP is clearly the title track, “Boys of Faith.” The track opens to the sound of Bryan’s Chocolate Labrador barking, which immediately made me love it because how could I resist a puppy barking? The song features Bon Iver, who is also featured in Taylor Swift’s song “Exile.” The lyrics of the song are about friendship, specifically Bryan’s friends who have been next to him all of his life. Bon Iver is the perfect elevation to the track, and the way the pair’s vocals swirl around each other is truly mesmerizing. I think that Bryan’s best tracks are his slow and deep tunes, and this is one of my new favorites of his; therefore this one deserves an 8.75.

Zach Bryan is sure to be a household name by the end of next year as his drive and passion for music continue to push him forward. He once was just a boy in the United States Navy, playing songs for his YouTube, but now he is so much more. From going viral on TikTok to selling out almost every venue he now plays in, the old-school star is well on his way to being the most popular country music artist soon. Check out his new album and new EP, because you may just fall in love with him!

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Sophia Dalton is a junior editor for the Her Campus Florida State University chapter. She enjoyed her time as a writer for HCFSU but is excited to be a part of the editing process. Sophia is studying English Editing, Writing, and Media as well as Psychology with plans to go to law school. Outside of Her Campus, Sophia is involved in many pre-law societies, plays the piano for National Guild competitions, and even coaches a high school volleyball team. In her free time, Sophia likes to play sports, especially beach volleyball, read fiction novels, and hang out with friends.