Honestly, I can’t believe it’s been nearly five years since I was first introduced to the enigmatic experience that is Zhero. To this day, the roll-out of Zhero’s debut material – and the roll-out of the character – is still one of the highlights of my time writing about music. It was such an elaborate, thought out and meticulously designed storyline. As a lifelong wrestling fan, it was one of the only times in my life I felt like I was playing a role in a wrestling-esque production. Over the years that have passed since, watching the growth, destruction, healing and rebuilding of Zhero has been an emotional roller coaster.
It’s been heartbreaking. It’s been fulfilling. And, most of all, it’s been inspiring. Because despite all the trials, tribulations and personal demons, at the end of the day, Zhero is still here and he’s still creating some of the most heartfelt, raw and honest music I have had the pleasure of sitting with and writing about. And I understand the emotion the CT-bred artist is hoping to draw from his listeners. But, more often than not, no matter how jarring the material is, Zhero’s music just makes me cheese from ear to ear.
“Sesame” is the latest release from Zhero, serving as another testament to the always blossoming artistic reach of the young creative. The song sees him working alongside basementparty, who has crafted a wonderfully rolling tide of instrumentation to accompany Zhero on the song’s travels. The soundscape is simple and effective, painting a vivid backdrop for the poignant purge of our protagonist. Over the course of “Sesame,” Zhero delivers soft, somber and reflective prose – the delivery is pure, it’s raw and it’s sure to tug on the heartstrings of all those who relate to the holding on of what once was. Listeners get an authentic look into the head and heart of Zhero, who seemingly pulled a page from his diary and began singing the words in front of him. You don’t have to dig deep to understand the feelings of loss, pain and mournful regret on display here. In the same moment, however, you experience a sense of bitter acceptance – the sour taste of accountability, never wanted but always necessary in the healing process.
Submerged beneath the surface of “Sesame,” we hear harrowing moans and cries that have been woven into the saga of the record. Sometimes, the written or spoken word will not be able to properly convey the emotion coursing through the physical, mental and emotional bodies. In those moments, it’s the gut wrenching sounds escaping our body that become our words.
I love writing about music and I write about a lot of artists. But I love Zhero, man. There is a special type of euphoria I feel whenever he shares something new with the world. It shows me he’s still fighting, he’s still surviving and he’s still alive – not just physically alive, but he’s mentally and artistically thriving. And that makes me happy…and it reminds me to never give up.
“Sesame” is available now on all your favorite streaming platforms.
Press play on “Sesame” and read the lyrics below.