Chris Zurich – You’re My Crutch

Chris Zurich’s “You’re My Crutch” is an outstanding example of what a light touch in songwriting accomplishes. Zurich never belabors his melodic ideas, instrumental passages, or the song’s message. There is an economical sensibility driving this song not born from fashion but, instead, necessity. The emotions expressed by this track demands Zurich craft a musical setting emphasizing vulnerability above all else, but likewise melody and restraint. “You’re My Crutch” scores on each of those points.

I believe his background “explains” the song’s approach. Zurich made a name for himself performing on New York City subway platforms determined, no matter what, to make a living for himself as a musician on his terms alone. His plan worked despite tremendous self-sacrifice and the hazards of working as public performer in New York City. The minimalist arrangement of “You’re My Crutch” isn’t probably far removed from its origins.

It is not his debut and listeners familiar with his prior work will note the ongoing progression of his songwriting. The song’s ability to impact listeners in a meaningful way despite its limited instrumentation is a hallmark of true craftsmanship; Zurich refines his talents each time out. It is a testament to his talents, as well, he threads the song’s musical strands together with such attentiveness and sensitivity.

Repurposing the familiar negative implications of its central image is a key to its success. It is usually no complement at all to be anyone’s crutch, but Zurich reframes the phrase within the context of a love song. Zurich’s writing is an unusual riff on the style. It is not unrequited love but, instead, hesitant love and Zurich does an admirable job capturing the overall essence of a relationship where two hearts circle one another, coming closer, but only in increments.

Many listeners will appreciate how he balances sensitivity with strength. There is a glowing soulfulness in the heart of his voice, a bone-deep understanding of how relationships develop, even in a faltering way. Contrasting his voice with stylish modern percussion and a mid-tempo pace are good decisions. The percussion isn’t hard-hitting and likely pre-programmed but nonetheless gives “You’re My Crutch” urgency it might have otherwise lacked.

Zurich utilizes vocal harmonies more and more as the song progresses. His lead vocal is sufficient to support the song, but the harmonies aren’t ornamental. Lush harmonies in the song’s second half are superb support for the main vocal and the persistent percussive pulse gives them a reliable foundation. His completeness as a songwriter is mightily impressive; everything complements and feeds into one another. Few, if any, listeners will identify any bloat on the song dragging it down.

It rings true. There’s nothing inauthentic about either his sentiments or presentation. Chris Zurich may have begun this part of his musical journey on New York City’s subway platforms, but that isn’t where it will end. He possesses a gift for his chosen craft that affects anyone who hears it and will take him places he can scarcely imagine. Let’s join him.

If you like You’re My Crutch, check out the official website for Chris Zurich by clicking here. Check out his other socials: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube


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