Zach Bryan is currently the No. 1 songwriter in country music

Zach Bryan isn’t releasing his massive 34-song new album American grief until May 20, but the viral songwriter is already causing a stir in the mainstream, which bodes well for the attention the new album may receive and the disruption it may cause upon its debut.

The first official single from Zach Bryan’s new record titled “From Austin” was released earlier this year and raised some dust on its own, peaking at #28 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart and #9 Hot Rock Square. Song chart – not bad for a guy who doesn’t get any meaningful mainstream radio broadcasts.

But Bryan’s most recent single, sunrise and sunset-inspired “Something in the Orange,” took it to a whole new level. Not only did it debut at No. 11 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and at No. 4 on the Hot Rock Songs chart, it was also Zach Bryan’s first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 All Genres at No. 55. On top of that, the song is also the #3 song streaming nationwide right now. The video (see below) has already racked up over a million views.

And perhaps most amazingly – and what will most certainly cause some buzz in the mainstream – is that the song’s performance is strong enough to land Zach Bryan #1 on Billboard’s country songwriter chart. When you consider that “Something in the Orange” is solo writing in a world where most songs are written by multiple people, and that “From Austin” still sits at #32 on the Hot Country Songs chart this week, it makes Zach Bryan is the hottest songwriter in all of country music right now. Zach Bryan doesn’t have a #1 song yet, but it’s still a #1 song for Zach Bryan.

Perhaps most important is how all of this portends how Zach Bryan might play his new album once American grief is released. With a huge core fan base that seems to continue to grow after the performance of “Something in the Orange”, once Zach Bryan releases 34 songs, it will be like a tsunami of metadata, racking up spins and downloads like a mad. How Morgan Wallen’s Scrapbook Works Dangerous continue to remain number 1 in the country? This is partly due to having 30 tracks.

The momentum behind Zach Bryan has grown steadily since the release of his first house album DeAnn in 2019 registered in an AirBNB. At the exit of American griefthis momentum may well reach critical mass and spill over into the mainstream like we have never seen before.

As crazy as the Zach Bryan phenom is so far, we may not have seen anything yet.

Toya J. Bell