Zach Bryan and Bruce Springsteen light the flame on 'Sandpaper'

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Zach Bryan and Bruce Springsteen light the flame on ‘Sandpaper’

Zach Bryan has released his new album today, July 4, Independence Day in the United States. ‘The Great American Bar Scene’ comes just ten months after the successful ‘Zach Bryan’ (2023), the album that contains the number 1 single in the United States ‘I Remember Everything’ with Kacey Musgraves, and is available from this Thursday ahead of Friday, the official release day.

Apart from its length, as it contains a total of 19 songs, ‘The Great American Bar Scene’ is notable for its collaborations. John Mayer participates in ‘Better Days’; the unknown Noeline Hofmann, who has not released any singles, collaborates in ‘Purple Gas’; and, above all, Bruce Springsteen himself appears in ‘Sandpaper’. Although the surprise is not so great, since both had already sung the song live.

Springsteen is present in ‘The Great American Bar Scene’ not only literally through his collaboration on ‘Sandpaper’. As Variety comments, the influence of ‘Nebraska’ (1982) is noticeable at certain points of the album, to the point that the title track includes a mention of ‘State Trooper’, one of the tracks from that famous album by the Boss.

However, in ‘Sandpaper’ Bryan and Springsteen travel back a couple of years to ‘Born in the USA’ (1984). In particular, the rhythmic base of ‘Sandpaper’ immediately recalls that of ‘I’m on Fire’, and also melodically, ‘Sandpaper’ transmits a feeling of serenity that recalls that of the single ‘Born in the USA’.

‘Sandpaper’ brings together Zach Bryan and Bruce Springsteen in a duet that is more than the sum of its parts. Zach’s voice, so country, and Bruce’s, so wise, each seem to tell their own story. But they are both united by the same sentiment: “Winter has been hard, but spring has been my friend, I’ll love you ’til summer comes again,” they sing, as if supporting each other.

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Simon Müller

Simon Müller is the driving force behind UMusic, embodying a lifelong passion for all things melodious. Born and raised in New York, his love for music took form at an early age and fueled his journey from an avid music enthusiast to the founder of a leading music-centered website. Simon's diverse musical tastes and intrinsic understanding of acoustic elements offer a unique perspective to the UMusic community. Sporting a dedicated commitment to aural enrichment and hearing health, his vision extends beyond just delivering news - he aspires to create a network of informed, appreciative music lovers. Spend a moment in Mueller's company, and you'd find his passion infectious – music isn’t simply his job, it’s his heartbeat.