EP Review: Heart In a Notebook by Zechariah Lloyd

Heart In a Notebook is the debut EP from southern Mississippi born and raised singer-songwriter Zechariah Lloyd. His life has been heavily steeped in music from the get-go with both parents being involved with the industry, a church pianist and a rock n’ roll drummer. 

His career as a musician kickstarted in 2015 when he won the Vicksburg Blues Society’s Blues Challenge. Zechariah Lloyd has been writing and releasing music ever since. 

The EP opens with the bluesy track Down To The River. You are welcomed to Heart In a Notebook by a twangy guitar leading to Zechariah Lloyd’s dulcet vocals. Smooth with a gritty underside you are instantly mesmerised by the effortless power his vocal tone holds. 

The track won first place in the blues category for both the Unsigned Only Competition and the International Songwriting Competition back in 2020 when it was released. It comes as no surprise to me that Down To The River beat over 27,000 other tracks with its enticing guitar licks and catchy chorus. What an excellent feat. 

Next up is a more stripped-back track by the name of Waste These Days. This time softer acoustic guitars accompany the twangy electric guitars. The grit found in Zechariah’s vocals in the opening track Down To The River is no longer present and a silky smooth tone takes their pace.  

The mellow tone of Waste These Days picks up momentum in the higher-energy chorus. Waste These Days brings a larger sound in its second half with harmonised backing vocals. These have a slight echo to them which gives the track a spacious feel

Third on the Heart In a Notebook EP is a more pop rock-inspired track called Don’t Cry For Me. Bright rocky guitars are accompanied by a heavy bassline creating a high-energy backing for the exciting track. Don’t Cry For Me is more upbeat than what we have heard from Heart In a Notebook so far.

Don’t Cry For Me showcases Zechariah Lloyd’s falsetto vocals which are a pure treat. The track shows the extent of his vocal range and also his versatility in songwriting. The up-tempo track offers a fresh sound on an EP that could have been at risk of sounding the same all the way through. Don’t Cry For Me is my favourite track so far.

The penultimate track on Heart In a Notebook is Ain’t It Strange which shows yet more versatility in Zechariah Lloyd’s songwriting abilities. Ain’t It Strange boasts new layers of complexity and depth which haven’t been touched upon in Heart In a Notebook so far. The chorus section introduces keys to the track which add a new dimension to the EP. 

Closing out Heart In A Notebook is its title track. Opening with a gentle acoustic guitar and slow rolling drums the track boasts a real easy listening vibe.  

The sweet and emotive lyrics and melody really speak to the listener. Telling a tale of heartbreak and the struggle of moving on Heart In a Notebook is a bittersweet track that most can relate to. 

I really like how Heart In a Notebook brings the EP to a close by going back to its roots. The track champions the raw emotive edge that is present in each track and brings the release to a simple yet beautiful fade-out. 

Heart In a Notebook is a strong debut long-form release for Zechariah Lloyd. With stunning melodies and a mesmerising vocal, it is sure to be a hit. I can’t wait to see what Zechariah releases next.

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Like this post? Why not read this one too: Photography: Ahsoka @ The Brunswick, Brighton // 14/08/22

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