zach zurn // singer | songwriter | producer


Filtering by Category: Songwriting

caroline smith // my way back home

one of my favorite local minnesota artists is caroline smith - i saw her live in winona, mn at midwest music festival about 4 years ago and fell in love with her stage presence, soul vocals, and strong songwriting. i stumbled across this short film documenting her life growing up in detroit lakes, minnesota and her evolution as a songwriter. be inspired!

Hear the soulful voice of Caroline Smith from Detroit Lakes, and join the singer/songwriter as she takes a nostalgic journey through her hometown. Also, see her recording studio sessions and her latest performance at First Avenue, where she introduces a new style of music to her fans.


Hey! I'll keep this post brief, but I have always had a dream of writing, recording, and releasing my own music and now I'm closer than ever! I created this GoFundMe page for those that feel inclined to help me make my dream come true!

There's absolutely NO pressure for you to contribute, but I have much more information on the GoFundMe page linked to this message! I simply wanted to create a place for those that were interested in helping me fulfill this project to do so!

If you have any questions please let me know! Thanks so much!

floating // commissioned work

I recently had the chance to go check out this new sensation called "floating". Seems simple, and the concept is. You crawl into a tank filled with 800 pounds of epsom salt, lay down, and float - preferably in the dark with no music. It's a meditative experience for you to recollect your thoughts and find relaxation and refreshment.

Nalu Float, Rochester, Minnesota's only floating center, was generous enough to have me come in and try floating out, and write a piece on my experience. I don't need to get too personal, but although I was a little claustrophobic at first, I had a nostalgic (odd right?), restful time inside the floating tank. It was an interesting experience to be pulled away from the chaos of everyday routine, and be alone with your thoughts while floating in that trippy, silky water.

Here's a video explaining a little more about floating (this video isn't from Nalu, but similar concept):

Based on my experience while floating, the piece I wrote is below.

You can check out Nalu Float's website here and try it out for yourself.

ELECTRICITY // Commissioned Work

I was recently commissioned by Trinity Live Sound (an AVL company about to announce it's opening), to write an original song for their company's website visitors. I had a blast writing the tune!

It's titled "Electricity". Check it out below and if you like it, share it!

NO, Ariana Grande, Pop and Indie Rock // TUNES

I've been jamming some songs/albums recently that I want to share with you. You may be surprised at seeing these artists compiled into one list, but I see some cool similarities between these artists.

  1. Meghan Trainor

  2. Ariana Grande

  3. Colony House

  4. Great Awakening

I'm sure you've heard of the first two and most of you may not have heard of the final two, but these songs are brilliant! (I've embedded a Spotify Playlist below with the songs)


Meghan Trainor is well known her "all about that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble" song. As this song gets stuck in everyone's head, the one that I can't shake is her song "NO". The way she combines melody and speaking brings an element of surprise to the song. It gives you a slight break in the tune - and then when the melody busts in in the chorus, it hooks you! Also, I cannot get enough of that buzzy "boy band pop" synth in the verses. Plus, the lyrics are dope. I'm not a woman, but I'm all for ladies confidently shrugging off creepy dudes. If you haven't heard her music before, you may know her as the woman who fell flat on her face at the end of her performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. There could be worse things for being known for.


To be honest, although this song is relatively new, this tune screams nostalgia for me. Back in elementary school I was the biggest Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, and N'Sync fan. "Into You" brings me back to those grade school memories of walking around the perimeter of our schoolyard with India Garms to "Genie in a Bottle" blasting on the announcement speakers.

COLONY HOUSE // "Waiting For My Time to Come" & "Glorious"

Some may compare this band to early Coldplay. I think that's a fair comparison. This band seemed to have popped out of nowhere. Their combination of catchy pop melodies, mixtures of indie rock, and guitar driven sounds gripped me from the first listen. I'm calling this one early: Colony House is going to blow up. Jump on the bandwagon now so you don't get made fun of later when everyone and their mom goes to their sold out concerts.

GREAT AWAKENING // "Figure it Out"

This band is THE BEST. They released an album called "Songs in Secret" years ago that inspired me as a songwriter. They took a few years off to get adult life figured out or something, but they're back and more amazing than ever. What you will hear on their album "Figure It Out" is catchy pop melodies blended with tight pocket drum beats, classic synthesizer sounds, and guitar licks that chime. Turn this album on and never turn it off.

At the end of the day, amidst varying genres and backgrounds, these artists bring catchy and memorable melodies to the table partnered with timeless and modern instrumentals. That's why you sing these songs in the shower and that's why I'm blogging about them now. We all get hooked by clever songwriting.