Zookeeper – “Pink Chalk” (Stereogum Premiere)

By James Rettig / August 27, 2014

When Mineral announced back in April that they were playing their first shows in 17 years, it was welcome news for people who were still yearning to revisit the golden era of emo. Mineral frontman Chris Simpson never stopped making music though, first with the Gloria Record and more recently under the name Zookeeper. “Pink Chalk” is the title track from Zookeeper’s new album and, like some of the best songs, it’s a little hard to grasp the precise emotion behind the song, but it certainly knows how to make you feel something. It starts with a contemplative piano placed over some heavy breathing, both of which carry through the whole song, providing texture and a hint of weary exasperation. But there’s also hope that peeks through, a sense of comfort and warmth. It’s a song that you can project all of your worries into and feel a little better, even if only for a few minutes. Simpson’s vocals are clear and passionate — the way his voice stretches out the last syllable of every line is affecting, as if he’s crying out for help and reassuring you at the same time. It’s a gorgeous piece of music, and you can listen to it below.

Pink Chalk is out 10/14 on Count Your Lucky Stars.