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Milwaukee's Zach Pietrini and Memphis's McKenna Bray celebrate 'Young Love'

This week we're excited to bring you a new collaboration from songwriter Zach Pietrini, a longtime fixture of Milwaukee's rock and roots scenes, and Memphis's McKenna Bray. The two have a new project called "The Modern Love EP" on the way, and they've shared its single "Young Love." Stream and read about the song below.

Zach Pietrini and McKenna Bray | Photo credit: Andrew Feller
Zach Pietrini and McKenna Bray - "Young Love"

Artists' statement

McKenna and Zach met for the first time over the phone summer of 2019, the first day they actually met was the day before a 20 date tour March 2020. About 6 days in the shutdown started. Sensing it was doomed when their SXSW slot canceled, the two got ready to pack it in. They were in Nashville that day and had some studio time. What resulted was the beginning of The Modern Love EP.

Zach went back to Milwaukee and McKenna went back to Memphis but kept writing together. Every week writing songs until 5 emerged. Each song off this record takes a different spin on the joys and pains of love. Be it the wistful account of "Young Love," the burning tale of a lover scorned in "Ends In Fire," or the tenderly honest "Yours," this EP packs some serious insights in a five song pouch.

Fun facts: Co-writing can be hard, to do it well often means true vulnerability in emotional recall and sharing unfinished work and ideas. To combat this we used two tools.

1. Umbrella of Mercy- When you feel like you have something to share but you feel self conscious, you put your hands over your head and say "umbrella of mercy" then give the idea. It sounds dumb but adds levity to what can be a potentially embarrassing moment. After months of doing it we have made quite the connection.

2. Place Holder- It's easy to get stuck writing, to keep the processes moving when we couldn't figure out a line we would either fill the line with nonsense "like a doot doot dat dat" or just write something that rhymed. Once the song was done we would got back and fill in the nonsense lines.

"Young Love" single art | Design by Erin Bagatta