Twin Bridges connects chamber music to indie-rock and folk on his darkly melodic and beautifully haunting new album Fertile Ashes — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
“These songs explore what can feel like an impossible task, overcoming grief from loss, trauma, and failed relationships,” Portland, Oregon-based artist Zach Gerzon says. “Making this album helped me let go of things I held onto for so long. I found a lot of hope in the Fertile Ashes songs.”
Twin Bridges’ melancholic aesthetic is the result of fusing classical and chamber music’s instrumentation and musicality with folk and indie-rock. The band’s music is sonically aligned with artists such as Andrew Bird, My Brightest Diamond, Takenobu, Kishi Bashi and Arthur Russell.
Zach wrote the music for Fertile Ashes during a transient period in his life when he drifted around New Mexico and Colorado before settling in Oregon. The awe-inspiring nature of these states is reflected in his songs. The album’s intimate production aesthetic reflects its earthy creative journey. Songs were tracked in a bevy of vibey loft and barn settings with Zach engineering, producing, arranging, and writing parts on cello for many other instruments.
Fertile Ashes commences with the mournful but hopeful first single Come Out / On. It’s a song built on a hypnotic cello riff, and the intermingling of melancholic clarinet with bowed cello. It metaphorically evokes the passage of winter to spring in seasons of a life — the letup of sad times. On the stately and sorrowful Dream Of You, one of the album’s most personal songs, Zach musically sketches a loving portrait of his mother who passed away years ago.
“I hadn’t planned on sharing this song, but, as time went on, I realized that it could be healing to release songs that are this vulnerable,” Zach says. The album also includes evocative instrumentals, including Willow Tree, which features a lush commingling of drones, looped melodies, and beats.
The second half of the album introduces more woodwind and brass instrumentation. One of the heaviest topical songs on the album is on this side of the album, and it’s Curt’s Song. This track is a slinky and upbeat sounding song with stinging lyrics, including the passage:
“There was a time when we got along
Don’t give me all the credit
Yeah I’m the one who pushed you out of the tree
Not all lessons are free.”
Zach is a self-taught cellist with a background as a multi-instrumentalist playing punk, country, and bluegrass on guitar, bass, and drums. At the age of 17, he became obsessed with the cello after hearing songs by Margot & The Nuclear So And So’s. He eventually purchased a student model cello, and learned to play through watching YouTube tutorials, and teaching himself how to read bass clef. Along the way, Zach developed a personal approach to the instrument which includes looping and effects pedals; playing the cello on its side and strumming it like a guitar; and utilizing traditional techniques such as pizzicato and bowing.
Twin Bridges started as a solo project, but it has evolved into more of a band setting with Zach’s gifted circle of musician friends contributing to live shows and recordings. The cast for Fertile Ashes includes Zach on cello, lead vocals, and engineering; Kylie Mcdermot on trumpet; Julia Michel on clarinet and saxophone; Chris Lazerek on bass clarinet; Jeff Kuhns on bassoon; Margaret Wehr on violin; and additional vocalists Lindsay Clark, Erisy Watt, Jeremy Ferarra and Chloe Serkissian.
Check out Fertile Ashes below, watch some of Twin Bridges’ videos above, and follow him on Instagram.