Record Review: Rebecca Zapen

Rebecca Zapen


St. Petersburg, FL

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“Intimate and unafraid”

When an artist manages to wrangle back most of your childhood memories – good or bad – along with theirs, it’s almost uncomfortable. However, folk songwriter Rebecca Zapen executes this style gracefully, drawing audience members closer with her gentle ukulele and her nostalgic narratives. Zapen prepares her listeners with her latest album Nest, conjuring up familial connotations and metaphorical images of birds, flying and journeying away from home.

Zapen is known to delve into jazz elements with her music, but with Nest, she creates a wholesome, yet occasionally bleak and traumatic Americana folk atmosphere. Zapen’s vocals clearly have the ability to reach the blues and jazz levels, but appropriately as a storyteller, she tells her tales of family, adolescent excitement, growing up in Florida and the birth of her own child in a serene tone, allowing listeners to navigate back to their own past. The track “Lakewood” is a vivid song, detailing her parents’ divorce and the confusing feelings of separation. “Grandfather’s Song” is one of the most moving tracks, as Zapen recalls memories of her grandfather on the shore and her eagerness to carry on his name and his musical influence.

Nest is a breath of fresh air and a very personal invitation to the artist’s soul. Listening to this album, one cannot help but open up their mind and heart to her songs. (Bashert Records)

Produced by Rachel Zapen and Jeremy Douglas

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