A music duo out of the Pacific Northwest has changed the way I think about music. It all started with ZAK, one half of the aforementioned group, who has put out a slew of records in the last few years.
After much consideration, he re-invented himself as SAFE TRVLS, a distinctive and curious name that only deepened my interested in his music. When flowsfordays was a newly formed site, I began to pursue Dissection Interviews, a series that looked deep into up and coming artist’s new releases. The artist and I would set up an interview focusing on their new song, album, or music video. I did not choose these creatives at random; I pursued them individually through submissions I fell for instantly.
Back in May of 2017, ZAK. dropped an incredible song called On The Line. When he sent the submission, he titled it as ‘alternative R&B,’ and I was worried it might be a conventional auto-tune throwaway. What I got was unique, forthright, and playful. Its replay value was off the charts, and I knew I had to hit him up and dissect it to the bone.
Further along in his career, I learned that Zak produces, writes, records, and engineers all of his music, and often provides the instrumentals that back up the tracks. It all fits into the artist he is; one that wants total control over his music with no opportunity for lackluster content.
Zak kept me up to date on a new group he was forming; one that reflected the music he now wanted to make. Later on, I recieved another submission from him, this time from Lonely Together. It includes both Zak and his girlfriend Rosie who has more than enough talent and drive to synch right in with her partner. In 2018 they dropped an irresistible summer jam, a progressive single, and a debut album that was one for the books. My write-ups flowed freely, and my frustration began to show over their low play count.
I still feel that way, but I know they will rise, however slowly, and reach a boatload of people that enjoy transcending, artistic, and exciting music.
Interestingly enough, SAFE TRVLS is back with three new records that continue to show his growth as an artist. They serve as the first 3 singles off his upcoming compilation Where Flowers Bloom. (Hear the first single here.)
While the second single, On Me, is a bit abstract, the message is delivered in a relatable way. It describes the pressure ST feels on the day to day but also acts as a mantra for aspiring individuals. I want Zak to tell the story of how On Me was put together.
This one came from an incredibly organic studio session when Rosie and (I) were starting a song, Rosie found the main melody and (I) told her to “lay that down” and told her that he wanted to immediately start writing the lyrics while she constructed the instrumental. So that allowed for the song to be come together really fast. It features elements from both SAFE TRVLS sound/style, as well as from Lonely Together’s, mixing for a nice balance of Hip-Hop, Electronic, and R&B.
SAFE TRVLS’s latest record and third single, Testimony, goes in a totally different direction. This is evident in its topic, structure, sound, and vocal expression. The intro is a beautiful, cinematic display of electronica, leading up to one of his catchiest choruses yet: “May be the realest shit I wrote but never spoke, I’m coming for your throat.”
ST is confident yet angry, with no doubt of his inevitable rise. Instead of berating the listener with an intense beat and delivery, ST focuses on atmosphere, stronger vocals, and a slight vulnerability.
Next on the list is Where Flowers Bloom, a diverse collection of tracks that will display the sound that SAFE TRVLS has been developing for years. Each song will be released individually with some sort of visual, painting a piece by piece story that will ultimately become whole.
I did not tell these two that I was putting this editorial together, nor did they ask me. This is the ethos of flowsfordays.com as it has, and will always be.