Best Of

Best Songwriter

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Mop-headed Zachary Cale grew up all over the planet, but when he croons, it’s only a light dusting of Cajun spices from time in Louisiana that bleeds through. He sports a few acrylic nails to keep his fingerpicking as light as golden dragonfly wings, but his tongue flicks silver and affected. “Wayward Son” heaves, “Dismal day tumbles like a clown/Just in time to peel yourself from the ground/Like a snake, you can slip from your skin/Oh, to blow from town to town like a gypsy or a whim.” He writes with a fluidity and urgency that suggests his intent isn’t to create a neat external package. Inside Cale, a writhing creature huffs narrative bursts. He’s just trying to get them out.

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