I find scrolling through TikTok to be a rather brainless activity — between content creators battling for your attention with crazy hooks like “THIS DM CHANGED MY WHOLE LIFE,” dystopian news stories, and also Charlie Puth for some reason (?) it’s all a little nauseating.
This made it all the more special that a brief snippet of indie-folk artist zachy’s debut single “untitled,” popped up on my For You page. The video in question, which racked up 87,000 views and counting as well as a cosign from Bankrol Hayden, showed the 19-year-old Virginian during a shift at Dunkin’ Donuts. The caption read: “can’t believe I’m making the charli demelio cold foam cold brew for middle school girls when my music sounds like this.”
zachy’s voice caught me immediately, a gentle yet desperate croon akin to Bon Iver that conveyed yearning and heartbreak. The beat for “untitled” consists of just guitar and bass, putting even more emphasis on the vocals.
“untitled” finds zachy trying to express his devotion to a higher power. The song sees him remain steadfast in his faith despite feeling abandoned: “where’d you go, why’d you leave me?” We get imagery of his being baptized, on his knees in prayer, and even giving up vices like cigarettes to demonstrate his commitment.
The cover art, a black-and-white sketch of a headless man playing guitar, brought me back to the Daniel Johnston album covers of the 90s. zachy picked the art for its simplicity, which bears similarities to the song itself. With the track at nearly 10,000 streams after a week on Spotify, it’s clear that the “less is more” messaging is hitting home.