Press

Blue Rider:

“Beautiful. Excellent.  The best of the year.” -POP MATTERS  read more…

7.9 on PITCHFORK. “The first thing beckoning you towards Blue Rider is its atmosphere—spacious, cool, distant. Zachary Cale’s mesmerizing finger-picking, drawing on open-string drone and country blues tunings, wanders restlessly around a clean, well-lit place of a mix, synths humming like 3am refrigerators and chiming guitars confusing your sense of middle distance. It is a misty, gorgeous record, a space that feels wonderful to roam around in.” -PITCHFORK  read more…

“Blue Rider is an album obsessed with atmosphere, color, and feeling. Cale sings with a laid-back air, surrounded by a bed of droned – out guitars, reverb – drenched soundscapes, and a steady forward – moving percussive propulsion. It all conspires together to lull you into a drifting trance.  It’s a milkshake of rollicking country, blues, ’60s rock, and modern singer-songwriter, painted in hues perfect for enriching a late night walk in the city.” -WXPN: The Key  read more…

“With this heavy surname, Zachary Cale carries a lot of weight as a singer of deep, lyrically provocative imagery, some of which touches on the mystery of love and power of desire, as well as longing and the blues…This album nests itself in this liminal space between love and loss, desire and fulfillment, emotions imagined and unrealized.” -NEW YORK MAGAZINE read more…

“Blue Rider is  an album of rich textures and intimate melodies, a gorgeous collection of songs that bristle with enthralling, understated details.”  -AMERICAN SONGWRITER  read more…

“Cale makes timeless music, steeped in 1960s folk, but without a whiff of mimicry, always built around his effortless finger picked guitar and world-weary, soulful voice. There is no pretense in Cale’s music, and his meticulously detailed yet understated sound, relaxed but undeniably lush and embracing, have long made him a “musician’s musician”; it’s easy to get lost in the easy flow of his playing, and the quiet sway of his voice.”  -OTHER MUSIC

“If there is any justice in the musical world, Zachary Cale will soon get the acclaim and the rewards his talents deserve.”  -THE MAD MACKEREL read more…

“Over eight diamond sharp tunes, Cale casts a captivating spell. The LP is centered around his elegantly finger picked guitar (equal parts Takoma School and Neil Young) and reedy voice, but subtle production touches make for a rich sonic tapestry, with reverb laden vocals, drifting feedback and simple-but-effective percussion adding depth.”  -AQUARIUM DRUNKARD read more…

“I’m being true to you when I say that Zachary Cale is going to be soon recognized as a darker guitar strummin’, gracefully-singing gem of the singer-songwriter genre.”  -SSG MUSIC read more…

“The warmth of Blue Rider, reveals an intimacy that feels natural when so much modern songwriting seems contrived.  Adorned by lap-steel, bass, drums and synthesizer, Cale’s lovelorn Americana echoes with only the slightest hints of psychedelia around the edges, a relaxing, easy listen with plenty of compelling details.  The centerpiece is Cale’s fingerpicked acoustic guitar playing, which displays an emotive and lyrical voice which match the subtle atmospherics of his inflections.  With remarkable consistency, every song blends together creating a mood piece that unravels over the course of these eight tracks.”  -SWINGSET MAGAZINE  read more…

What Zachary Cale gets to on Blue Rider is an oblique sort of courage, a contract with oneself to keep going.  In many ways, he’s never been closer to a truth that seems to work for him than he has with these eight songs…”  -STILL SINGLE  read more…

Blue Rider is a road album. One of those collections of songs that stretches out in an infinite expanse as it plays, uniquely singular sounding, but often blending into one indistinguishable stream of sound.  The album’s bluesy backbone is inarguable, but what Blue Rider really is is a record that expands slowly as it progresses forward, leaving the listener with the feeling that, once it’s over, he’s going to need directions to get back.”  -CMJ  read more…

“…his manipulation of his many influences – from Dylan, to Joseph Arthur – proves unprecedentedly exemplary, and it’s by wielding the tools left behind by his predecessors that Cale has so dextrously carved out his very own recess removed from the stresses and strains of an external world.   -DOTS AND DASHES  read more… 

“Zachary Cale is often described as a “songwriter’s songwriter,” a finger-picking folkie unafraid to dabble in ambitious instrumentals and full-band arrangements. On September 24, the New York-by-way-of-Louisiana storyteller will release his latest album, Blue Rider. The upcoming LP marks a departure from the more robust compositions contained in 2011′s Noise of Welcome, as Cale dives deep into heartland-lovin’ minimalism. “Hold Fast,” the first tune to surface from Blue Rider, bears a flattering resemblance to Kurt Vile’s mellower output, pairing a soulful syncopated rhythm with Cale’s warm, slightly close-mouthed vocals.”  -SPIN read more…

“Brooklyn-by-way-of-Louisiana troubadour Zachary Cale headlines with his husked and dusty alt-country: the kind of soulful guitar picking designed to set deserts on fire. His ragged and bittersweet blues should make Cale unmissable for aspiring non-sucky songwriters.”  -THE STRANGER

“…Zachary Cale is one of those wanderers who seems to have found himself far from home quite often. Focusing on that classic, attentive songwriting, Cale is inventive to his craft.”  -KEXP

“Live, Cale came across with a troubadour’s natural grace, striking a balance between Neil Young’s furrowed intensity and the storyteller charm of 70′s Tom Petty…”  -RAVEN SINGS THE BLUES  read more…

LAGNIAPPE SESSION on AQUARIUM DRUNKARD: read more…

FOLKADELPHIA SESSION on WXPN – Recorded on US Tour 2013.  read more…

DAYTROTTER SESSION – Recorded on US Tour 2013.  read more…

POP MATTERS  interview.  read more…

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Love Everlasting 7″:

“Zachary Cale is one of the only alt-country/Americana artists I bother to follow, and he hasn’t let me down yet. Don’t even get me started on that Illuminations LP; the guy has done his homework.  “Love Everlasting” sounds like it could have been recorded during Lennon’s lost weekend, but that’s almost giving it short shrift. This is a powerful, slow shuffle toward the sun as death stalks from the shade…” -TINY MIX TAPES

“…he is certainly a talent as a composer and lyricist, his reedy, hangdog style supported by songs that are pure class. When the rest of the world will take notice is anyone’s guess, but this music will wait for you all to catch up.” -STILL SINGLE

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Noise of Welcome:

“Zachary Cale is the best singer-songwriter working right now. Period.” -POP MATTERS  read more…

“Cale flits effortlessly from joyful and rousing to soft and melancholic, always poetic, always poignant and continually captivating.” -END OF THE ROAD FESTIVAL

“Cale has steadily worked the light back into his music on Noise Of Welcome, the stark beauty of his earlier work succeeded by a set of shimmering songs delivered by a band, but still set to poetry like Dylan or Cohen.  It’s ambitious, the way great music has to be, and Cale comes out of it as both accomplished soloist and band leader.” -THE LINE OF BEST FIT read more…

“He’s among the most successful current musicians I know of, in terms of blending the structure and influence of traditional folk and bluegrass into accessibly rootsy alt-rock/country songs.  Go to any music town like Austin or Nashville and you’ll find a bunch of guys who think their music sounds like this record…” -DUSTED MAGAZINE read more…

“With fleet fingerpicking, languid ballads and country-tinged dust ups, Zachary Cale works along the folk rock divide recalling beloved troubadours like Michael Chapman, Bob Dylan and John and Beverly Martyn.” -WFMU

“…memorable as a favorite scene in a favorite movie and eternal as the sun.  With Zach Cale what you get is what you feel; anything more or less would be illusory.”  -TINY MIX TAPES read more… 

“New York transplant, Zachary Cale’s folk sound is as beautifully raw as they come.   His unusual voice and poetic songwriting are pleasantly welcomed surprises.” -CBS NEW YORK

“Although steeped in acoustic Americana, Zachary Cale separates himself from the crowd with a rare balance between emotional depth and ankle-deep Kinks pop sensibilities.” -THE A.V. CLUB

“Cale has perfected a kind of avant-folk craziness that never sounds precious” -THE NASHVILLE SCENE

“Zachary Cale is one of those unassuming guys who, once heard, earns your undying loyalty.” -THE BROOKLYN PAPER

“Zachary Cale is a Brooklyn songwriter of uncommon power” -THE RAWK BLOG

“The songs that he wrote for his latest and best album, Noise of Welcome are configures of the riddles that he finds himself wracked by on a daily basis. They are the kinds of thoughts that come at a truly contemplative man when he gives himself over to those good chunks of solitude that seemingly scare the daylights out of us, but actually allow us to figure some things out… It’s music that makes you imagine – or recognize – time slipping by like rolling highway scenery.”  -DAYTROTTER read more… 

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DAYTROTTER SESSION (Recorded on US Tour May 2011) – live audio and artist feature

Interview with VOLUME 1 BROOKLYN read more…

Artist feature and Interview with GO FOLK YOURSELF read more…

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“it’s clear that for this guy his music does most of the talking. He takes his cue from the open tuning of guitarists like John Fahey and Bert Jansch who often played about with atmospherics to augment their folk and blues tunes.  Folk music has that strange ability to shock and surprise” -TASTY (live @ The Windmill -London, UK) read more…

“[Zachary Cale] immediately changed the pace of the evening. Such was the intimacy of this concert, it was as if people held their breath collectively and the room closed in on him. His performance was narcotic and captivating and had a kind of dreamy, ambien-laced grace at all times… He is a truly gifted man.”  -THE MEZCAL TRAIL (@ The Heeley Institute -Sheffield, UK) read more…

“Zachary Cale’s music sticks to you like gritty, summer dust well past the first listen” -THE OWL MAG

“Noise Of Welcome is an understated collection of stunning, orchestral beauty.” -CAUGHT IN THE CAROUSEL

“[Zachary Cale] has that rare talent of being able to make you forget what else is going on around you and immerse yourself fully in the world he creates – superb.” -THE MAD MACKERAL

“The album (Noise of Welcome) retains Cale’s signature sound, which recalls Oh Mercy-era Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Finger-picked guitar and easygoing percussion provide the backdrop for Cale’s searching, subtly biting vocals. Yet this new album also shows exciting growth, with a broader vocal range and more experimental production.” -THE BEACON PASS

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Come Quietly single:

“Contemporary psych/folk anchored by amazing songwriting.” -WFMU

“Cale has that perfectly imperfect world-weary voice.” -L MAGAZINE

“Zachary Cale’s voice has a sardonic and cutting edge to it that brings to mind at times Current 93’s David Tibet or Comus’ Roger Wootton, which stops the well constructed melodies from being merely pretty and floating off into the clouds.” -STILL SINGLE/DUSTED MAGAZINE

“…these have to be two of the best new folky sounding songs I’ve heard all year. Killer tracks.” -OTHER MUSIC

“There’s a certain gruff waver to Cale’s voice, the way it bites at the edge of your eardrum that hefts it out of the standard doldrums of a man with a guitar. Real emotion lives in the vocals Cale projects, and his ruminations on love and its numerous varied outcomes, good bad ugly, have a tangible weight to them.” -SOUND ON THE SOUND

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See-Saw (Illuminations):

“See Saw is the best album I’ve reviewed for Still Single, hands down… You think it’s easy to operate within the confines of Americana/roots-rock/alt-country without coming off as insufferable slummers or instantly-forgettable rural action figures? It isn’t, but Illuminations do this … perfectly. As a closing clarifier, See Saw dabbles in enough Elephant Six-isms and dressed-down indie rock to carry a wide appeal. If this band sticks to it, they will be huge. You know … in a good way.”
-STILL SINGLE/DUSTED MAGAZINE

“While See-Saw plays perfectly normal, if slightly buzzed, what makes Illuminations exceptional is their no-fear strokes at epicness; the woozy into raging anthem endgame of “Rising,” the seven-minute tin-pan hymnal of “We All Say Goodnight,” and the constantly atmospheric vibe of “Laundry List” could compete with any lukewarm fuzzies induced by the globe’s current crop of stadium cozies (Coldplay, Kings of Leon, Snow Patrol).  That might ring hollow, but that only means they deliver genuine pop songs through grand gestures.  Unlike those bands, this seems in earnest with no self-importance attached.  -THE AGIT READER

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Walking Papers:

“Hands down one of the best albums of the past 20 years.  No question, no exaggeration.”  - David Correll – SACRED BONES

“Zachary Cale is a songwriter’s songwriter, as prolific as he is original. His voice can be delicate for love or wry for satire. The ability to hear what is in a song has guided him well in the making of his own.”  -WFMU

“Spare, chilly, indie soundtrack-worthy folk that nods to its influences without attempting to revive them.”  -WNYC

“Playing solo and with full band accompaniment, this loner/Leonard Cohen acolyte plays an accomplished guitar and writes serious lyrics with poetic depth.” -STILL SINGLE/DUSTED MAGAZINE

“Dark, chilly folk that’s as beautifully modern as it is solidly rooted in its influences.” -KJHK

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Outlander Sessions:

“Cale (no relation to John or J.J. from what I gather) comes across on the straightahead folk-stone tip, languishing in the lazy glow of coal heat against cold skin. He’s a good guitarist, a fine songwriter somewhere between a Doug Martsch type and a heartbroken Tim Hardin” -STILL SINGLE/DUSTED MAGAZINE