If songwriter Zach Gill’s life were a mobile in a child’s nursery, music would be its axis. Hanging from the mobile would be a small ukulele, a collection of vintage organs and pianos, a broken accordion and other sound makers. There would be more than just musical instruments dangling down. There would be an old man’s sweater, a furry pilot’s cap, a ball of clay for shaping, and a walking stick. If this doesn’t give you a clear idea of Gill’s sound, maybe the story of his musical journey will.
Early inspiration came from his grandmother Mabel, a Church organist, and father Chuck, an ex-rocker. Zach’s future became clear during high school when he sparked a lifelong friendship with fellow musicians Dan Lebowitz and Steve Adams, who he continues to play with in ALO today. In College, the trio tried their hand at a variety of projects before emerging as the Animal Liberation Orchestra. Formed in 1998, ALO has been Zach’s primary musical vehicle for the last decade and half, with the addition of Dave Brogan, releasing 4 albums on Brushfire Records. In 2005, he joined forces with college friend Jack Johnson, playing in his band as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist.
“At the start of the 2020 global lockdown, as a traveling musician, I found myself with a sudden plethora of time at home, surrounded by ideas and inspiring instruments. Over the last decade, I’ve created a small and always evolving music studio in my garage. I call it the Creativity Lounge. Each time I get a new instrument or piece of recording gear, I spend a little time exploring musical possibilities with it. These aren’t songs in the traditional sense but more like “sound spaces” and as time has gone on I’ve ended up with quite a few of these exploratory, instrumental tracks. Each one unique, like an alien planet with its own inhabitants, climates, and landscapes. When the news of the day was stressful and life felt chaotic with too many voices in my head, I’d put on my headphones, fire up the recording gear and escape to these sonic planets without words, each time adding new elements and whittling away old, until one day I realized I’d accidentally made an album. An album called Cocktail Yoga.
Cocktail Yoga is music for unwinding the mind, the body and the soul. It’s music meant for dreaming, for painting, for cooking and for crafting. It might inspire you to stretch your hammys and roll your shoulders, or it might inspire you to make a hot toddy and curl up with a good book, or call an old friend. It’s playful and seamless and doesn’t require anything from you. Inspired by composers like Esquivel, Martin Denny, and The Three Suns, Cocktail Yoga is fresh, yet rooted in an older, seemingly simpler time. It’s a portal out of the realms of opinion and decision and into the spaces between, where time is infinite and all endings are also beginnings. Enjoy responsibly.” Love, Zach