Local Honey, the new record from rising folk music hero Abby Zotz, has been in my “favorites” playlist since it debuted a little earlier this year, and while I loved all eleven of the songs it features with an immaculate production, the single for “Big Hope” has got to be my very favorite. I actually first learned about Zotz through the video for the music song and subsequently discovered Local Honey after becoming addicted to its impactful hook, and considering the amount of play the track is getting from indie outlets I’m quite positive that I’m not the only one.
The most striking quality about “Big Hope” isn’t just that its video unbelievably encapsulates the mood of the song to spec, but that it doesn’t use any cheap frills or augmented themes to have an effect on its viewers. If there were more artists making media this straight forward and cutting there might be a little more music videos on MTV than there are pointless reality shows, but the absence of any legitimate competition is making Abby Zotz’ ascent to the top all the easier.
“Big Hope” starts with us peering through the flowers and leaves of a backyard garden to find Abby Zotz’ content, smiling face there waiting to greet us. With an acoustic guitar in her lap, she starts to strum away at the crisp chords of the song, and we pull up a chair next to hers for a DIY performance that few artists would allow their fans to witness. Gazing at the fretboard, we see that Zotz’ focus in this world is her relationship with that guitar. Her vision shifts to the sky, as if to imply a desire to know where we come from and why we’re on this planet. She glances over at a nearby mirror and for a second we realize just how self-conscious she is, despite the fact that it pales in comparison to her other attributes. It’s in these private moments where it’s just her and her guitar when she’s at her most raw and real, and all of the emotions that she’s been carrying around with her expose themselves. To be there to see it for ourselves is, to put it simply, breathtakingly courageous.
As the video progresses, Zotz’ swagger only increases, and before we have the chance to even realize it for ourselves her self-conscious cues have blossomed into a confident reverence that is prepared to wrap us up in its loving arms. With wide open eyes and a passion to see what tomorrow will bring, she stares off towards the horizon all alone as the song comes to the finish line, hinting that if we follow the same route to this spot that she has, we too will appreciate the beauty of its isolation.
Between this video and the splendidly catchy ten song that join it in Local Honey, there’s no getting around dubbing Abby Zotz the new queen of contemporary indie pop. If you need evidence for yourself, secure yourself a copy of her new album.