Oct 03, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Photography by Zian Meng
Pittsburgh-based singer/songwriter Zack Keim first got his start in the world of scuzzy garage rock, playing through his teenage years with garage punk outfit Nox Boys. However, in 2017 Keim went in a different direction with his debut solo album, First Step, taking inspiration from contemplative strains of ‘60s folk. Since then, Keim has been building a newly lush and dreamy sound with his forthcoming sophomore album, Battery Lane, bolstered by production from Josh Sickels and Chad Monticue of Animal Scream.
Keim returned earlier this year with “Canyon,” the first single from the upcoming record, and today he’s back with another new track, “Alice,” premiering with Under the Radar.
According to Keim, “Alice” has gone through a number of iterations since beginning as a GarageBand demo over a decade ago. Keim recorded a soft acoustic take on the song for his debut, but his newly released version digs into the track’s unexpected ramshackle core. Opening with a pounding percussive stomp followed by joyous layers of jangling guitar and buoyant melodies, “Alice” feels both heartfelt and endlessly charming, crafting jangly folk pop with lush complexity. Keim is also joined by Laurel Wain of fellow Pittsburgh outfit String Machine, who brings some sunny harmonies to the track, even as the lyrics explore the pains of heartbreak.
I wanted to do a Sonny & Cher sort of thing,” says Keim. “I asked Laurel to come on the track and she was willing. I think she did a great job. It’s a song of heartbreak, but it’s also kind of a happy rendition of the song.”
Check out the track below and stream it here. Keim’s sophomore album, Battery Lane is out next year. “Alice” is also set to feature as the B-side to Keim’s “Canyon” 7” single, out October 14th via Action Weekend Records.