Come Back to Us

Release the Sunbird

As his eyes bend down at the sides like a bar of cartoon weights, under the meekness and magnitude of his humble, lyrical power, Rogue Wave front man Zach Rogue attains the rank of great American songwriter with Come Back to Us, the debut album of his new project Release the Sunbird. Though no new ground is broken musically, the familiar sounds of his acoustic guitar and reverberating vocals evoke an emotional originality that resonates deeply. The music is substantially enjoyable on every level, carrying a hymnal quality of masculine honesty and feminine beauty, backed by vocalist Kate Long. Tracks like “Running Away From Me,” a playful song about young fatherhood, and “Always Like the Son,” a heartbreaking ode to the loss of a childhood brother, transcend mere sound waves that tickle our eardrums. They reach that place in our hearts where we’re all connected, and our only desire is to truly know, and fully be known by another. In “Dropout,” he painfully expresses the crises and dichotomies of a loving but troubled relationship: “The mirror ball/ It spins it deeply/ The axis turns/ You fill me completely/ The angels up there/ They are weeping/ Because of the company/ That we’ve been keeping.” In these simple songs of perfect beauty, Rogue employs no gimmicks. He doesn’t have to.