Zac Crouse
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Zac Crouse

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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Zac Crouse @ Private Show

None, None, Canada

None, None, Canada



Unfortunately, the stereotypical assumptions most have of a man going off into the wilderness is one of solitude; the need to escape from the machine and what’s ruining society. Sadly, anyone that challenges the power of nature or embraces her beauty is dismissed as a Christopher McCandless disciple. For Halifax musician and sea kayak enthusiast Zac Crouse – a man that spends copious amounts of time crammed in vans with the other members of Caledonia and certainly may need an escape – nature may be his passion but it never consumes him.

That’s why his new solo record, You Plan To Do Nothing works so well. For the most part, the songs were written on a uke during his sea kayaking adventures around Newfoundland, but the full, warm arrangements you hear on the record only surfaced when he shared the skeleton structures with his friends. Without question, the moments of reflection (“I’m Tired’), straightforward chords and picked notes of Zac’s songs act as his journal for the days and nights he spent in tents and on the water, but the support and energy the songs get from people like Tanya Davis, Don Brownrigg, Dan Ledwell, Kris Pope, Jessie and Jordi help Crouse connect with listeners.

It can’t much more personal than hearing Zac reflect about lust, love and leaving on “The 1st Time”, but it’s Jessie’s strings backing vocals and the perfect placement of Ledwell’s trumpet that make this song more than just another coffee house confessional. The beauty is that even when the band tries to take over – the defense would like to introduce the distinct chug the drums, tambourine and electric gives “So Fine” – the song still feels intimate and spontaneous, especially when Zac lets out a little “woo.” “Scott’s House”, a song that got Caledonia some national attention, is transformed with Tanya’s uke and Don’s accordion, but fits perfectly into the hushed, laid back feel Zac creates with his solo work.

I hesitate to call You Plan To Do Nothing a labor of love, simply because the friendship and smiles Zac shared with a stable of NS music vets ooze from this record and make you think everything about this process was invigorating and rewarding. That being said, the passion to grow these songs from a few notes strummed in a location so far from home to a record that slowly burns its way into your brain and soul is not for the weak of heart or lazy musician. This journey may not have required the physical intensity some of Zac’s other journeys required, but it’s no less impressive and one of which he should be extremely proud.

Considering the fact that we were already big fans of the band Caledonia, we weren't too surprised that we were immediately immersed in the music created by Zac Crouse (who plays in the band when he isn't boating around or recording solo material). You Plan To Do Nothing is a beautiful album full of subtle solid soft pop with personality and character. Zac's songs are inspired and moving...a far cry from the technology-generated dribble that passes for music in the twenty-first century. The songs on Nothing feature traditional instruments and a heavy emphasis on lyrics and vocal melodies. Crouse is joined on this album by Old Man Leudecke, Tanya Davis, Don Brownrigg, and Amelia Curran. The press release that accompanied this disc contained a line that really made us laugh hard: "Crouse first started playing music as a means of coping with living in Oklahoma"...(hilarious). Cool modern progressive cuts include "Waiting On The Wind," "The 1st Time," "I'm Tired," and "Amen." Zac has a great understated voice that oozes sincerity. Mr. Crouse confirms something we already knew. Canada beats the United States hands down in terms of credible cool musical artists. This album is a must have for Caledonia fans...and anyone else who demands substance in their music. Killer stuff. Top pick. -

These fractured songs held together by scruffy band-aids masquerading as electric guitars are full of off-beat charm and the cast-offs of numerous genres. Lo-fi, folk, country, glitch-pop and some rock all get a look in, the mood is playful, experimental - like Ill Lit they gather in spare parts, fragments and swatches and then turn them into compelling songs.

Crouse is a member of Caledonia, and unshackled from band mates he can be more ramshackle - ‘Scott’s House’ is like Herman Dune, a chatter of banjo and guitar, a sweet female vocal, crackles of electric guitar and all the charm of the summer holidays when you are twelve. ‘The 1st Time’ just pulls some loops together, simple drum patterns, a bucket of charm, and a cello adds a splash of melancholy, that endless summer is coming to an end. The songs were written whilst Crouse kayaked his way around with banjo or ukulele along for company; they have a spontaneity as though they haven’t lost their origins, and even with the more mournful ‘Freeze the Ocean’ where the cello pushes on like a lifeboat launched into a gale, the song isn’t so perfect that it doesn’t sound completely heartfelt. It does sound like Port O’Brien in a restrained mood. There are only eight songs and yet there seems to be an arc of development from the lightness and innocence of the opening singalong of ‘Waiting on the Wind’ to the more considered and powerful closer of ‘Amen’.
- Americana UK


you plan to do nothing. (2010)



Zac first started playing music seriously as means of coping with living in Oklahoma for employment. Upon returning to NS, his first gig was a brief stint in a folk band with Juno Award winner Loel Campbell of Wintersleep. He followed up that project with three albums, four ECMA nominations and a stack of music videos with his band Caledonia accompanied by his equally talented friends, Steve Gates, Ian Bent and Kris Pope.

Still busy writing and performing with Caledonia, Zac continues to work on his solo banjo project, a collection of acoustic pop songs about ladies, politics and adventure. Inspiration can be found in the unique places and adventures he finds from the seat of his kayak. He’s traveled many white-water rivers in Canada, the US, Mexico and Uganda with a banjo or ukulele stowed snugly in the back of the boat, ready for inspiration. Zac’s 1st solo album ‘You Plan to do Nothing’ has come about with the support of talented friends like Old Man Leudecke, Tanya Davis, Don Brownrigg & Amelia Curran. Helming the project is producer Daniel Ledwell (In Flight Safety, Jenn Grant, Christina Martin).
"The world does not need another guitar player."