The rise of the internet and social media fundamentally changed the music industry. Today, artists don’t necessarily need to follow the old path of courting a record label to gain some semblance of success. Instead, they can release their songs online, gain a following, and the rest grows organically. Zach Bryan’s rise to prominence in country music is a great example of that.
Zach Bryan used his social media platforms to share covers and original songs that captivated an audience. Before long, independently recorded and released his debut effort DeAnn. That album contained “Condemned” which became one of the more important songs in his catalog, but we’ll get into that momentarily.
Recently, Zach Bryan spent some time on Twitter sharing the stories behind some of his fans’ favorite songs. While doing so, he took some time to talk about “Condemned.”
Zach Bryan Tells the Story of ‘Condemned’
Zach Bryan recalled, “I wrote the line, ‘mama said I’d never be condemned’ I repeated condemned in my head a few times and wrote ‘I’m condemned, I’m condemned oh my heart’s around the bend’ and it evolved into what it is.”
Additionally, Zach Bryan recalled that “Condemned” was the first of his songs to catch the attention of music journalists. Not long after posting the video, Zach saw the first article about him online. To him, it was like he blew up “overnight” after sharing the song with his followers.
Later, the music team for the hit show Yellowstone sent him to Nashville to cut a cleaned-up version of the song. They used it in a season 3 episode. That exposure introduced him to a whole new world of fans.
A Celebratory Recording
Zach Bryan recalled that “Condemned” was the last song they recorded for DeAnn. Then he explained why you hear him and his buddies laughing at the end of the album version of the song. For one, they were all “drunk as hell” while recording the song. It wasn’t just the alcohol that had them all laughing, though.
“My redneck buddy came up while we were recording and we laughed our asses off because we were done. But also he said ‘that’s a banger’ in the most country accent at the end.’ Then we spelled it wrong.”
It looks like they fixed the spelling mistake before the song made it to streaming. However, that fit of laughter is, thankfully, still present at the end. Hearing Zach Bryan try his damnedest to hang on to the song while cracking up while his buddies sing along in the background is one of the highlights of the album. It injects a little more of the authenticity and humanity that Zach’s fans love into the song.