Zac Brown Band & Avicii Collaborate on New Song Titled “Broken Arrows”


When Zac Brown Band opened his new album Jekyll + Hyde with an EDM-influenced song, I think everyone was taken by surprise. It was one of two EDM songs on the album. Some called it a sell-out move, while others chalked it up to creative misfires on Brown’s part. Well Zac Brown Band is back making EDM music and it’s with one of the biggest names of that genre, Avicii. For those who aren’t familiar with Avicii, his biggest recent hits were “Hey Brother,” “Wake Me Up” and “Waiting For Love.”

The new collaboration song between the two is titled “Broken Arrows” and will appear on Avicii’s new album Stories, which currently has no release date, but is highly anticipated by the EDM community. According to Fist In The Air, this song was first premiered at Avicii’s set at XS Nightclub right before EDC Vegas and then performed again at that event. Avicii confirmed it as a track on his upcoming album on his podcast Le7els earlier today.

You can take a listen to the song below (there are watermarks throughout it to prevent stealing). After listening to it a few times, it’s not bad for a pop/EDM song. If Zac Brown Band wants to scratch their EDM itch by doing collaborations like this, I have no problem with it. The problem I have is when they put this type of music on their own albums and throw it next to the likes of rock music, Motown music and country music. Nevertheless, it appears the Zac Brown Band have more than a passing interest in EDM music and it could be a sign of more of this type of music to come from the group.

(By the way, I want to give shoutout to reader John for bringing this to my attention)

6 thoughts on “Zac Brown Band & Avicii Collaborate on New Song Titled “Broken Arrows”

  1. Derek Hudgin June 30, 2015 / 11:46 am

    Hm, interesting. I don’t know much about EDM at all to know if it’s good or bad in respect to that genre, but it doesn’t do much for me a music fan.

    All respect to Zac Brown and the musical direction he wants to go. I don’t remember if I commented this on the album review or not, but I have no problems with them dipping into other genres as long as those albums are more consistent. Like you said, EDM mixed with country, Motown, rock, etc. makes for a choppy album. Much like the rock Grohl Sessions EP, they should do that with other genres. I wouldn’t buy an EDM one, but I’d certainly buy a Zac Brown Band Motown/Big Band EP or a full album of R&B from the band. But I don’t want all the genres mashed together on one album.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zack June 30, 2015 / 11:54 am

    Its ok i guess, pop and EDM are not my style at all though and I can’t lie, I’m disappointed in the direction these guys are heading.

    Admittedly I’ve warmed up to their album, I’ve even come to like Mango Tree haha. But there are still just moments that don’t work, and honestly I’ve listened to Jekyll & Hyde more so than any other album so far this year, not because I think it’s great, but because I always feel like there’s something I’m missing. If you asked me now I’d give it a 7/10 but I still can’t call the experiment a success and I’m not convinced anymore that this was just a one time thing 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ron12274 June 30, 2015 / 11:55 am

    And remember Dan Tyminski sang the vocals on Hey Brother, though I’m not sure how that came to be. So its not too shocking that the 2 could mix. Also remember Ruthie Collins Ramblin Man? The song got no traction but was an interesting mix of traditional country vocals and current EDM


  4. Noah Eaton June 30, 2015 / 5:58 pm

    Eh, this record sounded flat to me.

    I have nothing against artists from any respective genre crossing the fence to collaborate with artists and producers of other genres. I am a fan of a lot of EDM and have playlists on SoundCloud set aside specifically to EDM in addition to those specifically for country, music elsewhere around the globe and JPop to name a few.

    But this particular effort doesn’t even sound distinctively EDM. It’s basically easy listening with lightweight processed elements from dance music. It is decidedly anti-climatic and the best of EDM, at least to my ears, accomplishes any number of three things: 1) it makes you feel like you’ve embarked on a journey of sorts through sonic elements that has diverse geography and imagery to it, 2) it elicits an ambiguously emotional vibe without trying too hard and 3) it gets your heart pulse racing.

    “Wake Me Up” worked tremendously well because Aloe Blacc elicited an emotional urgency in his vocals that weld well with the pensive lyrics. Especially toward the end of the choruses where he’d break: “All this time I was finding myself, and I didn’t know I was lost…” or even in small moments with the verses where he realizes he only has two hands when yearning to travel the world. It helped that the song also had climatic peaks in terms of the beat and melody that got your heart racing. “Hey Brother” succeeded for much the same reason and it’s not hard to see why both became major hits.

    “Broken Arrows” fails on all these fronts. I know Zac Brown has proven himself capable of really emotionally investing himself in much of his band’s material, but his brawny vocal doesn’t leave me feeling anything by the end. I know Avicii has proven himself capable of producing some hallmark mainstream EDM anthems, but this never finds its groove and sounds like a half-hearted auto-pilot result. It’s not bad for easy listening music, but both collaborators hardly bring their best at all to the table and wind up with something that is not impactful or memorable in the slightest.

    I’m giving this 5/10.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Iván el Terrible July 1, 2015 / 10:44 am

    Avicii has been doing this a lot of times. In his next album, rock stars like Serj Tankian, Jon Bon Jovi, Billie Joe Armstrong and Chris Martin are also guests. He wants to introduce genres like rock or country to new audiences and he will do a great job.


    • Noah Eaton July 1, 2015 / 1:52 pm

      But how is he going to introduce country to new audiences if there’s no semblance of country music on this particular offering?

      Sure, he definitely accomplished that with “Hey Brother”. But this is easy listening with Zac Brown’s vocals in the mix.


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