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"By the Stars" - Riot of Me | Review

“By the Stars” is a melancholic track that will have you feeling the artist’s emotions with them.

The first thing that struck me about this track was the haunting chord progression - right out the gate, I felt the heavy, bittersweet energy in my chest. The gorgeous vocals captured my attention next, especially the second layer in the back, pitched up and adding a beautiful aspect to the track. Perhaps my favorite thing about the song was the fact that at no point could I tell where it was going. There were several fakeouts, drums building up and crescendoing only to fall silent and give way to a simple guitar. It truly got my attention, and I really loved it. These technical aspects only furthered the heavy energy of the track, as I continued to feel the raw emotion behind it for hours, even days, after I listened to it for the first time.

Riot of Me is the solo project of singer-songwriter Zachary Burns, who released his first EP in 2021 and would go on to release two more that year before making a comeback in 2024 with “By the Stars”. He uses music to reflect on his past and work through it, mentioning that his work is popular with fans of Bon Iver, Novo Amor, and Alex G, to name a few. As a huge Bon Iver fan as well as Novo Amor, I can attest to this. He’s truly caught my attention, and I’m excited to see where he goes from here!

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