Something in the Orange

The Poetic Longing in Zach Bryan’s ‘Something in the Orange’

Zach Bryan’s “Something in the Orange” transcends the realm of melody; it’s a poignant ballad that masterfully weaves a tale of heartbreak, longing, and emotional turmoil. This exploration delves into the intricate details of the song, Zach Bryan’s background, and his journey in the music industry, offering a comprehensive overview that will leave readers with a deeper appreciation for his work.

Overview of “Something in the Orange”

Album and Musical Style

While details remain unclear regarding the exact album placement of “Something in the Orange,” the track seamlessly blends folk, country, and rock influences. Its haunting guitar riff sets the tone for the narrative, complemented by minimal yet profound instrumentation, including delicate piano and strings that enhance the song’s emotional depth. Bryan’s understated yet powerful vocals convey a mix of introspection and awe, particularly shining in the instrumental interlude before the song’s climax, where blistering guitar solos and thunderous percussion amplify its intensity.

Songwriting and Themes

Born from personal experiences of loss and the struggle to let go of a deep connection, Bryan penned the lyrics amidst the tranquillity of a Wisconsin cabin at sunset. The song tells the story of a man left bereft by his departed lover, consumed by an insatiable longing for her return. Amidst the twilight’s promise, he grapples with an unsettling intuition embodied by “something in the orange,” suggesting their story remains unfinished. The song captures memories of shared moments and the haunting presence of the past, reflecting themes of love, loss, and the hope for reconciliation.

Symbolism and Interpretation

Sunrise Hues and Unresolved Feelings

In the song, the mention of “orange” likely symbolises the colour of a sunrise, evoking a poignant moment of vulnerability for the protagonist. As the dawn unfolds, the stark truth of a love lost becomes palpable. The lyric, “Something in the orange tells me we’re not done,” introduces a subtle ray of hope amidst the despair. The hue orange, typically linked with warmth and fresh starts, hints at the possibility of reconciliation.

Unbalanced Love and the Weight of Absence

The lyrics delve into the narrator’s inner turmoil, exposing the asymmetry of emotions. Phrases such as “to you I’m just a man, to me you’re all I am” poignantly depict his profound affection juxtaposed against the perceived indifference of his beloved. This contrast intensifies his anguish as he grapples with the daunting prospect of a future without her presence.

The Beauty of the Unresolved

The allure of “Something in the Orange” lies in its enigmatic nature. Purposefully devoid of a definitive resolution, the song leaves us pondering the fate of the narrator. Will he find solace or remain ensnared in the perpetual cycle of yearning? This deliberate ambiguity invites listeners to engage with the song on an intimate level, prompting reflection upon their own encounters with love and heartache.

Zach Bryan’s Musical Journey

Early Life and Career Beginnings

Born in Okinawa, Japan, on April 2, 1996, while his parents were stationed there, Zach Bryan hails from Oklahoma. Raised in a military family, Bryan followed in the footsteps of generations before him, enlisting in the U.S. Navy at the age of 17.

Transition to Music

Bryan’s musical career began on YouTube, where he shared original compositions and covers, quickly amassing a dedicated audience. In 2019, he released his debut album “DeAnn,” named after his late mother, Annette DeAnn Bryan, who passed away in 2016. The album, written over two months and recorded in just 48 hours at an Airbnb in Florida, showcases Bryan’s raw and authentic style, resonating deeply with listeners.

Breakthrough and Recognition

Bryan’s breakthrough came with his 2022 triple album “American Heartbreak,” which debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200. Despite initially being dismissive of the Country Music Association (CMA) and its awards, Bryan’s rapid ascent in the music industry couldn’t be ignored. In 2023, he was nominated for New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards and won the ACM Award for New Male Artist of the Year, solidifying his place in the country music scene.

Major Achievements and Influence

Chart-Topping Success

Bryan’s song “Something in the Orange” reached No. 1 on both the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Hot Rock & Alternative Songs charts. The song’s success is a testament to its broad appeal and Bryan’s versatility as an artist. It spent 40 weeks on the Hot Rock chart before finally taking the lead position on February 4, 2023. This feat, crossing genre boundaries and topping charts traditionally dominated by different styles, solidified Bryan’s position as a unique and powerful voice in the musical landscape.

Streaming Popularity

As of September 2023, Bryan’s top five songs on Spotify have been streamed over 1 billion times combined, with “Something in the Orange” being the runaway leader with over 504 million streams. The song’s video has also garnered more than 69 million views on YouTube, highlighting its immense popularity.

Television Appearance

In 2022, Bryan made a cameo appearance during the fifth season of Paramount’s hit drama “Yellowstone.” In the season’s seventh episode, he performed three of his songs at a country fair. This appearance not only showcased his talent to a broader audience but also highlighted his connection to the country music genre, despite his genre-bending sound.

Personal Touch and Authenticity

Inspirations and Influences

Bryan’s music is heavily influenced by songwriters like Jason Isbell, Evan Felker, and Tyler Childers. He considers himself a storyteller, and his songs reflect his personal experiences and observations. This authenticity sets him apart in an industry often dominated by formulaic mainstream offerings.

Military Service and Music Career

Bryan’s journey from the Navy to a successful music career is unique. He was honourably discharged in 2021 to pursue music full-time, a decision he made with a heavy heart but one that allowed him to follow his passion. This transition adds depth to his music, as it is imbued with the discipline and experiences from his military service.

Future Prospects and Impact

Upcoming Projects

Bryan is set to embark on an extensive 10-month tour starting in March 2024, featuring guests like Jason Isbell and Sheryl Crow. His self-titled album released in August 2023 includes collaborations with artists like Kacey Musgraves, The Lumineers, and The War and Treaty, showcasing his collaborative spirit and broad musical range.

Legacy and Influence

Bryan’s impact on the country music scene is profound. His raw, unfiltered approach to songwriting resonates with listeners seeking authenticity. As he continues to evolve as an artist, his influence is likely to grow, inspiring a new generation of musicians who aren’t afraid to push boundaries and express their truths.


Zach Bryan’s “Something in the Orange” is a powerful exploration of love, loss, and yearning. The song’s haunting melody and introspective lyrics invite listeners to reflect on their own experiences with heartache and hope. Bryan’s journey from a Navy serviceman to a celebrated musician underscores his dedication and passion for his craft. As he continues to rise in the music industry, his authenticity and emotional depth will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy.


  1. What inspired Zach Bryan to write “Something in the Orange”?
    • Zach Bryan drew inspiration from his personal experiences of loss and longing for connection while staying in a cabin in Wisconsin during sunset.
  2. What does “something in the orange” symbolise in the lyrics?
    • The phrase “something in the orange” symbolises a sense of intuition or premonition, suggesting unresolved feelings or unfinished business in the protagonist’s relationship.
  3. What genre does “Something in the Orange” belong to?
    • The song seamlessly blends folk, country, and rock influences, showcasing Bryan’s versatility as a musician and songwriter.
  4. Why does the song avoid a definitive resolution?
    • The song deliberately avoids a definitive resolution to leave the fate of the narrator open to interpretation, inviting listeners to reflect on their own experiences with love and heartache.
  5. What are some of Zach Bryan’s musical influences?
    • Bryan’s musical influences include songwriters like Jason Isbell, Evan Felker, and Tyler Childers, who inspire his storytelling approach to music.

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