Abby Zotz New Album ‘Local Honey’

The chime of Abby Zotz’ acoustic guitar guides us into the temperateness of “Stability,” the opening track of her new album Local Honey, like a cool breeze blowing through tall grass on a hot summer’s day. Dispatched at the pace of beating heart but with a sensitive, loving melody to cushion its delivery, “Stability” welcomes us into Zotz’ world to stay and primes us to receive the passion of “Big Hope” faultlessly. The hot single rocks us back and forth like a tried and true lullaby before making way for the blues-clad stomp of “Peace Sweet Peace.” Just in this first trio of songs we can tell that Zotz has got more electrifying energy flowing through her body than a power plant, but around the time “Pirouette” wanders into focus we start to realize that we aren’t listening to a common pop album by any stretch of the imagination.


The somber hindsight invoked by “Pirouette” doesn’t take anything away from the elation of “Good Bones” or its muted partner “Be Here Now,” but actually makes the flow of all three a little easier to digest in a single sitting. “Hush Baby Waltz” is an entity all its own (and honestly cuts deeper than any other acoustic song released in the last five years has), and it sits well between the black and white of “Be Here Now” and the unexpected exoticism of “Sea Change.” The meaty part of Local Honey plays out so sweetly that it’s hard to believe that we’re listening to as many tracks as we are, and I found that repeat listens are almost required to fully appreciate the gravity of this album’s nerve center.

“All Through the Night” is a difficult song for any artist to sing, and although it might sound a bit clichéd to suggest, Abby Zotz’ version of the song could be the most intriguing that I’ve heard in the last twenty years plus. The words roll off of her tongue like teardrops descending from heaven unto a world undeserving of their mercy. I was enamored by this song more than any other on Local Honey, and if it receives airplay from the proper platforms I can see it becoming a staple song in Zotz’ set list.

The original ballad “See Your Face” comes bursting through the silence like lightning emanating from a cluster of dark storm clouds. Zotz’ light, falsetto like vocals drift in the air above us like an angelic force of love and permanently sear their harmonies into our brain, leaving us in a much more pleasant frame of mind than we were in to begin with. Local Honey wraps up with the countrified symphony of melody that is “You’ll Never Know,” and when the music finally stops the void left behind by the absence of Zotz’ singing becomes so glaring that it’s hard to not immediately play the whole album over again. Debut records are a notoriously tough assignment for any artist to tackle, but if this is what Abby Zotz can produce with almost zero experience under her belt, I can only imagine how amazing her sophomore LP is going to sound like.


Gwen Waggoner