Electronic Press Kit
Jam-packed with Zreczny’s engrossing and often unconventional tunes, Aftershocks showcases his talent for breathy vocals that belie the seriousness of his subject matter and a warbling intimacy that draws comparisons to Elliot Smith or Neutral Milk Hotel.
Alan Zreczny’s songs are narrative poems set to spirited melodies, which he performs on the guitar and piano, solo and with his band bluefront. Aftershocks is bluefront’s second release, a journey into the reverberation of emotional aftershocks in shimmering melodies and instrumentation. Aftershocks was celebrated at a full house release party in the spring of 2019, featuring special guests Janet Bean (Eleventh Dream Day, Freakwater) and veteran musician/composer/producer Nicholas Tremulis.
The title track, Aftershocks, was written after watching a news report about an earthquake. “They were talking about the aftershocks, and it started a process of thinking about the correlation to emotional aftershocks. It could be a flash of memory or another kind of reminder, and then the whole thing would sort of hit again”. As for the other songs on the album, “they were chosen because they just seemed to fit in and pick up on that theme”.
“Take Your Letter. Not too long ago I was cleaning out my room at my parents' house and found a note I had written to a woman while in college. Surprisingly, it seems my approach during our four years at school of letting her come to me didn’t work so when I finally found myself sitting near her one day at the library I thought I had my chance…but I didn’t give her the note. Although I hadn’t remotely thought about that note since my senior year, reading it that day brought me right back to the reading room where we were studying, the light in the room, the knot in my stomach and the feeling of wondering what if . . .”
A Chicago native, the singer-songwriter first picked up a guitar at the age of ten, growing up in a house always filled with music and music lessons. His love for music and writing remained while he went to college, law school and grad school. He went to work at a large corporation as in-house counsel, traveling the world and later moved on to a law firm . . . but the thoughts about creating music were ever-present. “I always thought of being a musician and writing songs as the most fulfilling modes of self-expression”.
And then, a terrible break-up happened, and a door opened. A former girlfriend had given him a notebook to write in and Zreczny found himself “filling it up with things, much of which had to do with that relationship”. Not long after, Zreczny met Bean when they worked together at the law firm and the two became friends. “I started going to her shows and I was inspired. It moved me to turn some of what I had written into songs.” During one visit Bean saw all of the guitar paraphernalia and looked at Zreczny pointedly. “She asked if I had written any songs and I mentioned two. She asked to hear them”. But Zreczny wasn’t quite ready. “There was a lot of negotiating. And I know the next time she came over she had a bottle of wine.” Bean finally wore him down and her reaction was instant.
She told Zreczny that his songs were beautiful and then Zreczny couldn’t believe what he was hearing when Bean asked him to teach her the songs so she could play them at her next show and then asked him to join her and her band on stage.
Zreczny started to test drive playing out at open mic nights and from there, there was no turning back. Zreczny started playing out more and soon thereafter was joined by long-time collaborator Jason Steele on guitar. Together they recorded Zreczny’s first record, The Arbor Sessions in 2014.
Zreczny began landing more gigs at beloved venues like Uncommon Ground, The Elbo Room, The Gallery Cabaret, The Red Line Tap and the popular Old Town Art Fair and eventually filled out the band with Nick Kabat on drums and Mark Burns on bass. "I know everyone says this, but it’s true, I really love the band. My favorite part of the whole thing is bringing in a new song and watching what happens, how it changes and how it feels all based on what Jason, Nick and Mark do.” bluefront has performed at The Cubby Bear, Subterranean, The House Cafe, Uncommon Ground and The Old Town Art Fair, among others, and appeared on WGN Radio and the Chicago Acoustic Underground podcast.
Over the years Zreczny has created an imaginative and truly original body of work with lyrics that often put a new twist on age-old sayings, giving them a fresh, surprising new meaning.
Aftershocks was recorded at Electrical Audio by Scott Steinman, mixed at GardenView Sound Studio by Scott Steinman for Studiomedia Recording and mastered by Matthew Barnhart at Chicago Mastering Services.
Aftershocks is available on CD, vinyl and at your favorite digital store.