Track Premiere: Drive Me Home Please—’New York State’
Posted: by The Editor
There’re sentiments of both fear and relief upon relocating to an entirely new city. Even in today’s globalized society where physical location doesn’t necessarily hold the weight it used to, moving to a new place still allows for somewhat of a redo, a fresh start. At the same time it’s often scary and lonesome leaving that social safety net—friends, family, even mere acquaintances—and confronting the prospect of building that sense of security once again from the ground up. Drive Me Home Please, the moniker of Upstate New York songwriter Zach Hallenbeck, puts those dichotomous emotions of resettlement into song on his latest offering “New York State.” Hallenbeck transferred from SUNY Geneseo, roughly a half hour from his birthplace in Rochester, to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, over three hours away, last Fall.
However, unlike much of the brutally self-critical yet calmy delivered narratives of his past work—the absurdly catchy “URL IRL” off of 2015’s Oil Kid boasts the hard-hitting line, “I spent the first two decades of my life fucking things up”—this track sees Hallenbeck ultimately finding comfort in knowing he will be warm both “out in my big coat” and “inside with a blanket;” outside being his new location and inside being the comfort of his hometown.
The song still has the homemade, bedroom quality of his back catalogue, giving it an authentic, intimate character. However, Hallenbeck has refined his craft on this one and can now seriously contend with the current crop of up-and-coming bedroom pop-ers (gobbinjr, Emily Reo, BOOSEGUMPS). The whispy synths that enter halfway through this track are layered in a way that slices through the mix like ice skates on a frozen Western New York pond. It’s quite pretty.
“New York State” will be one of seven tracks on Drive Me Home Please’s upcoming project Infinite Tsukuyomi that drops 2/10 via Bangkok Blend. If you live in or around Upstate New York be sure to look out for Drive Me Home Please at your local DIY spot. Particularly with his full band, it’s something you don’t want to miss.
Eli Enis | @eli_enis