Presents: Normal by The Homeless Gospel Choir
The Homeless Gospel Choir is the musical project of Pittsburg punk Derek Zanetti. I first ran across Derek back in 2015, when he was playing with frankiero andthe cellabration. And like many people, I was absolutely stunned by his performance. Derek isn’t afraid to open himself up when he’s on stage, and that’s how he forges a connection with the audience. It’s unexpected, and sometimes Derek’s songs feel almost too honest, much like sharing someone’s innermost thoughts and dreams.
His performances are about creating a sense of community, which is at the heart of Derek’s art. His lyrics make you feel less alone in the universe, knowing that there’s someone else who feels just as lonely, confused, and scared as you do. And more importantly, someone who experiences mental illnesses as so many of us do.
It’s a truly powerful message, one that strikes true with audiences regardless of age.
presents: Normal is Derek’s newest work, and it’s a powerhouse of punk tunes telling the story of a man caught between a devil and a cop, and the struggles he has to endure before finding hope, community, and peace. It’s a compelling narrative in today’s turbulent world, where images of violence permeate our media and make it hard to feel any optimism about the future.
That’s the brilliance of presents: Normal, how it serves as a reminder that as dark as the world may seem right now, there’s always a place in our hearts to make our own light. That’s Derek’s gift as well, to show us that music can bind us together into a force strong enough to overcome the challenges we face.
I’ve been looking forward to this album for months and now that I’ve gotten my greedy little hands on it, it’s going to be on repeat for a while.
The Homeless Gospel Choir will be touring in support of presents: Normal throughout the fall. You can catch him in Europe, and hopefully we’ll see a larger US tour as well.
Standout tracks: Normal, Sometimes, Fear
11 tracks, 30:22
Released August 18, 2017 through A-F Records, available at most digital music retailers, plus CD and vinyl editions.
by cardiac_in_overdrive (@cardiac_ovrdrv)