“I’m starting to feel like an adult,” says Zack Freitas.
It’s a statement that may seem odd coming from a performer who turns 27 in June. The indie singer-guitar player is rapidly gaining in popularity, he has a new single which he plans to feature at Folktale’s Wine Garden on April 27 and two full albums in the works.
But Freitas has been through quite a lot over the past year, starting with his decision to quit a job in order to tour and record full time. “I barely survived winter, busking on Cannery Row,” he says.
With everything now riding on his talent as a performer and songwriter, Freitas began to lean more on alcohol for inspiration.
“It started to take over without me knowing it,” he admits. “In the depth of addiction, you lose perspective.”
Fortunately, Freitas never lost his powerful voice. And he met several people who recognized his potential and were willing to help – people like Sarah Reynolds, Jacqueline Kabat, Ruth Blake and Brad Mallory. He began working with John Kelly Productions.
And he’s been sober for six weeks.
He reflects on that journey in his EP Sweet Oblivion Tastes Like Peaches. “Throw away every flower that grows/ Down the rabbit hole,” the song “Sweet Oblivion” begins. “Cigarette and a bottle of rum/ No need to be upset, just let the rabbits run.”
“Sunny Day” dwells on being in a dark place, but also looking for redemption. “There’s a nice bridge at the end,” Freitas says. “It’s hopeful at the end.”
The year of transformation taught Freitas to pace his writing, to focus on producing one or two powerful songs a month. And it’s working out.
He has a second album – Controlled Burn – lined up.
“It’s the most personal work I’ve done,” Freitas says of the forthcoming record. “It pays off to face your demons.”
ZACK FREITAS 5pm Saturday, April 27. Folktale Winery, 8940 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel. No cover. 293-7500, folktalewinery.com