Zach Bryan isn’t releasing his massive new 34-song album American Heartbreak until May 20th, but the viral songwriter is already making a massive splash in the mainstream, which portends favorably for how much attention the new album might receive, and disruption it might cause upon its debut.
The first official single from the new Zach Bryan record called “From Austin” was released earlier this year, and stirred up a little dust on its own, showing up at #28 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, and #9 on the Hot Rock Songs chart—not bad for a guy that receives no significant mainstream radio play.
But Bryan’s most recent single, the sunrise/sunset inspired “Something in the Orange” has gone to an entirely different level. Not only has it debuted at #11 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, and #4 on the Hot Rock Songs chart, it’s also Zach Bryan’s first entry on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 at #55. On top of that, the song is also the #3 streaming song in all of country at the moment. The video (see below) has already racked up over a million views.
And perhaps most astounding—and what will most certainly cause some buzz in the mainstream—is that the song’s performance is strong enough to put Zach Bryan #1 on Billboard’s Country Songwriter’s chart. When you consider that “Something in the Orange” is a solo write in a world where most songs are written by multiple people, and “From Austin” is also still charting at #32 on the Hot Country Songs chart this week, that makes Zach Bryan the hottest songwriter in all of country music at the moment. Zach Bryan doesn’t have a #1 song just yet, but this is still a #1 for Zach Bryan.
Perhaps most important is how all of this portends for how Zach Bryan might perform once his new album American Heartbreak is released. With a massive grassroots fan base that appears to continue to be growing after the performance of “Something in the Orange,” once Zach Bryan releases 34 songs, it will be like a metadata tsunami, racking up spins and downloads like crazy. How does Morgan Wallen’s album Dangerous continue to remain #1 in country? It’s partly due to having 30 tracks.
The momentum behind Zach Bryan has continued to grow since the release of his homespun debut album DeAnn in 2019 recorded in an AirBNB. Upon the release of American Heartbreak, that momentum just might reach critical mass, and spill over into the mainstream like we’ve never seen before.
As crazy as the Zach Bryan phenomenon has been so far, we may have seen nothing yet.