Music videos are the ultimate form of extending a musician’s artistic expression outside of actually playing live, and Abby Zotz’ new video for “Big Hope” is as organic and authentic as they come. A quintessential single from her breakthrough album Local Honey, “Big Hope” is visually realized with limited grandeur and maximized intimacy for what I found to be one of the more stimulating videos I’ve seen in 2018. Zotz proves once and for all that it doesn’t take an oversized budget to transport the viewers to the place where the music was developed and grown. It’s a big moment for an artist trying to make her mark on the pop music lexicon, but if I didn’t know any better I would’ve guessed she’d been in this business for years.
Zotz’ professional attitude and flawless harmony with the music she pens is the key reason why so many journalists and listeners are mistaking her for a seasoned veteran, and this music video only fuels the fire. We watch as Zotz plays guitar in a removed setting that would appear to be a porch, and thanks to the premium production value it feels like we’re right there with her. Her music already has such a down-home mood to it that most of the music on Local Honey sounds like it was spurred on by uninterrupted backyard jams, and this video lives up to everything we could visualize while listening to the single. It’s almost like sitting front row to a personalized concert that no one else has the privilege of attending.
“Big Hope” isn’t the only hit to be found on Local Honey; in fact, you could even argue that it’s one of the simpler songs on the record. There’s a lot of material to breakdown in this album, from the elegiac chime of “Be Here Now” to the exotic twisting of “Sea Change,” there’s something for even the most discriminating of music fans to get into here. Zotz goes out of her way to never repeat the same concept in any of the songs, and after listening to this album all the way through several times I still find myself searching for the right terminology to categorize it. Maybe that’s just it though; music this flowing and multifaceted is too creative to be labeled.
Merging the singer/songwriter format with the calculated harmonies and freewheeling experimentation of avant-garde pop, Abby Zotz is exhibiting a knack for making exciting ballads that could be the best of her generation. Local Honey is stacked high with intricately wound songs that will challenge your perception of what folk music can do when it doesn’t have any barriers to keep it from going off the beaten track, and I would encourage anyone who considers themselves to be a music aficionado to give it a spin and see what they think for themselves. I myself found it worthy of all the spirited adulation it’s been receiving from both the Canadian and American music media, and I don’t think this is going to be the last we hear from this emerging folk icon.
Keep up with Abby Zotz HERE.
-review by Jodi Marxbury