The Homeless Gospel Choir released I Used To Be So Young over the summer through A-F Records. Derek Zanetti is the brains and talent behind the band with his folk-punk songwriting. Zanetti proves with this album that he is a great storyteller, and has plenty of stories to share with his fans. I had never heard of him prior to this album, and after hearing the album, I will no doubt be going back to his older material to see what else he’s had to say.
The album starts off with “Armageddon” and it gives you a good taste of Zanetti’s viewpoint right off the bat. He makes political comments like “Duck Dynasty for president” that allow you to hear his personality in the song. In the next song, “Some People,” Zanetti mentions, “my friends are college graduates but they can’t get a job.” That line is extremely relatable to many people, including myself as a current senior in college. It’s terrifying and brutally honest. One thing The Homeless Gospel Choir immediately accomplishes is being real. It makes Zanetti seem like he’s another regular person just like the rest of us. It makes his music easy to connect to and that’s one of the best things a musician could do.
As a music lover, I always find it interesting to hear who and artist’s influences are. “Musical Preference” does just that, and it’s one of the standout songs on the record. Just because you listen to a wide variety of music, doesn’t mean that’s what your music has to sound like or what others have to like and that’s exactly the point this song gets across. “Holiday Song” was an amusing song, and in a good way. You get a sense of Zanetti’s humor and may even find yourself laughing along to the song.
I Used To Be So Young covers everything from the apocalypse to Bruce Springsteen to Black Friday. The Homeless Gospel Choir has proven to be entertaining on many topics. And since there were so many different topics with these songs, the album kept my attention the whole time and was quite a treat. I highly recommend it if you’re a fan of folk-punk or even if you’ve never heard of it. There’s a song for everyone to relate to on there.