Zack Villere, the 22-year-old Louisiana native, has officially started the rollout for his still-unnamed upcoming album with the release of the lead single "Sore Throat." Villere has been in the indie spotlight for quite some time, after accumulating a following under the name Froyo Ma. Villere moved to Los Angeles, in the pursuit of his dreams: making music and working with Frank Ocean.
However, this was only the very beginning of his artistry. Along with being a singer, Villere notches credits as a producer, guitarist, songwriter, illustrator, and with his newest single - a director. The young man really can do it all. Drawing inspiration from the Odd Future movement, specifically Tyler, the Creator, VIllere sees no need to not do it all himself.
His newest single runs under two minutes long, with just about ten lines of lyrics. Yet, somehow, Villere finds himself delivering a greater message to the masses than most of his acclaimed contemporaries. The track features minimal production, with a few soft keys, guitar riffs, a few adlibs, and round vocal harmonies, all of which master the art of simplicity. However, when placed alongside one another, these few sounds capture the essence of the song better than an orchestral score could do.
The standout facet of the track is Villere's songwriting. Along with his understated vocal melodies, a staple of Villere's music, we are granted insight into the complex mind that causes the back-and-forth of the young artist's emotions. Despite addressing the unbeatable sensation of feeling down, Villere considers, "Sometimes I feel like I'm alright," only to quickly be reminded, "But in the back of my head / I feel like I might be dying." The immediate return to this place of despair illustrates the internal struggle to overcome that so many individuals face.
Later in the track, Villere addresses his demons once again, speaking on this notion of self-doubt, explaining, "I wish I knew what it was / I wish I could shut it up." These are the last words that echo in the song, before a brief vocal echo of hums. Villere allows the track to slowly fade with the guitar melody and somberly fall to silence. All of these elements contribute to a prevalent sensation of melancholy.
As an artist, Villere did not stop at just delivering a spellbinding single, he also released a music video directed by himself and Dan Streit. The video is filled with gorgeous aerial shots of Villere riding a moped through busy streets, playing guitar on the roof, and brief dancing numbers on a parking structure.
The cinematography of "Sore Throat" is all the more impressive given that shot would be breathtaking as a stand-alone composition. Often relying on the juxtaposition of the song's somber nature, Villere's isolation on a moped and the bustling scenes of the city highlights the duality of the track. In its entirety, the video does what any amazing video should; it supplements and elevates the sentiment of the song itself.
Zack Villere's growth as an artist is apparent with each new release. From his initial EP, Little World, Villere has made great strides in becoming the artist he hopes to be. With more promising signs via "Sore Throat," his upcoming album is set to be the culmination of years of hard work and reflection.