Van Bellman is the brainchild of Brooklyn-based musician Zac Taylor. The gritty first single “I Hate To See You This Way” might just be your favorite rock song of the year.
You may have seen him playing guitar on TV with multi-platinum band American Authors, or perhaps carrying your luggage at the Gansevoort Hotel on Park Avenue a few years back. And maybe you didn’t hear, but he doesn’t shine shoes anymore. Instead, Taylor has been cultivating this new project and is now ready to present it to the world. An eclectic mix of bluesy rock and indie pop, Van Bellman’s music was written with purpose.
The theme of “I Hate To See You This Way” focuses on the pain of watching someone you love go down a dark road, witnessing them self-destruct. Anyone can relate to this heartbreaking and helpless feeling, whether they have played the role of the nurse or the patient. “It means a lot to me as both a lyrical and sonic story,” said Taylor, who also produced the track at the legendary Mission Sound Studios in Brooklyn through some serious vintage equipment. With influences from Kurt Cobain to Jeff Buckley, you can feel the accusatory growl of the chorus, and get pulled into the sensitive moments in between the roars. Textured with modern elements and pop flourishes, the track is ultimately a rock’n’roll song which is meant to be listened to loud.
The second single “Gold & Blue” is a story of hope, faith and companionship in a world of turmoil and distractions. “I like that it’s a bit concrete and a bit abstract as far as what the colors or themes could represent,” confides Taylor. “For me, it’s a hopeful message of sticking together through bitter trials and tribulations, cutting through the noise of the modern world to really listen to someone.” Showcasing infectious melodies, soaring gang vocals and driving drums that all build into an anthemic chorus, “Gold & Blue” fills you with optimism, a fitting yin to the dark first single’s yang.
The NYC music scene has shaped Taylor into a respected collaborator, hired gun, and songwriter. Van Bellman is the byproduct of all of these experiences. You have no patience for a whole record. No one does. So the Van Bellman tunes are coming at you one by one.