Introducing: Z Special – Psychic Past & Qs

Some very old pre-transition songs! Mostly written in Spring/Summer 2020 and recorded in Summer/Fall 2020, with a couple being edited/extended versions of some of the oldest songs I’ve ever written (Haunt and Hotel from 2016).

To everyone who supported has supported me through the million shapes I’ve taken! To my mom! To Sim, Syd, Lauren, and Benjamin. To my other old friends I hope come back around who I know may never – without you I don’t know how much longer this would have taken me. I love y’all so much.”

This artist coming from Austin is making an emotional bedroom-lo-fi-folk pop that will catch your heart. I love the rawness coming from the song and also the honesty of the songwriting. I can feel the emotions of the artist and I love this connection.

My dear friend Max Gowan mastered this album and I can definitely hear his work in this one. The album has exactly that kind of sound that is very close to me.

I enjoyed the album from the first track to the last and I recommend you to check the whole album, it is not too long even though it has 12 tracks, just 32 minutes of your time is something you can spare.

This is a debut album and it is already promising a lot. I cannot wait to listen to more from this artist.

I loved this one and I bet I will love the next one.

If you have been a fan of the blog for a while, this album is just for you.

I reached out to Zee and asked her our 3 Qs and got probably the longest answers ever, but I wish the other artists would do the same. I loved these responses a lot!

What inspired you to start making music and what keeps you making music?

Music was the first way I felt any sense of deep emotional interiority. I grew up a pretty isolated and repressed person, and I didn’t have many emotional connections earlier in my life, so I think music was what I sort of turned to as a release for the things I was feeling or for the feelings I didn’t understand. My oldest friend and I first grew close over sending each other voice memos of us making bad songs on our guitars when we were 18. I’m 26 now, so obviously it took a while to close the loop – but life happens sometimes! I think that was a huge catalyst for me to really start toying with the idea that it was something possible for anyone to do. Hearing Frankie Cosmos for the first time a year later and getting more into the confessional and bedroom indie scenes was a huge catalyst for understanding just how personal and specific music was “allowed” to be. I’ve also just always been very drawn to lyrics and poems as complex confessional spaces where you’re sort of able to wander through these fragments of a shadow of someone at a very specific time and mindset…. It’s sort of like you’re perceiving new facets of the self and new things about the world and other people’s interiority through the scattered image of another person. And that’s kind of a microcosm of my favorite part of life! Meeting amazing new people and discovering and growing and changing together through shared experiences. I can’t see a world where I am not making music, or where I am not at least wishing I was making music. I guess passion for it and true love for it is what keeps me making it and listening to it and going to shows and wanting to perform! I love the way a song will unfold in your heart when you first hear someone else’s or when you first write or arrange your own. I love the surprise of being taken with something new to you. I don’t know that I could stop making songs even if I wanted to.

What was the most challenging thing in your music (artistic) path?

The biggest challenge for me has been dysphoria, especially vocally. I think for a long time (certainly on the album I have out) I was afraid of my voice, and it was difficult for me to hear it play back or to imagine performing and having people hear me sound the way I did. After I first arranged the album around 3 years ago, that was a tough mental and emotional obstacle that kept me from finishing the mixing and mastering process and releasing it. I think that after having spent some time transitioning, it’s a lot easier for me to let the songs go now and to think of them as representing me at a different time in my life. I do also think that it’s been an exciting opportunity, though – I decided I didn’t want to be “stuck” really with anything, and I’ve changed the way I sing a lot and am excited to keep developing my voice and my other skills and to kind of chart growth and change with the next album. I think turning a lot of that discomfort into motivation is something that will continue to make my art better and more exciting! And on a much more succinct note, I would say that figuring out how to make and record songs myself in my apartment was definitely a little daunting (but infinitely worth it).

What would you dream to do if anything was possible?

My very unrealistic and easy answer is that I’d make the world a place where no one is hungry or homeless and we all have rights…. 

My answer for my own life is that I think maybe having a record label one day would be so special. Or really to be doing anything where I am working on or with other people’s music. I think I just want to be around incredible people and incredible art all the time. That and to make an album with live drums!!! And to have a full band to play shows with!!! 

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