HomeMusicSociety of the Silver Cross’ “Wife of the Sea”

Society of the Silver Cross’ “Wife of the Sea”

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I’m left a little awe-struck after listening more than once to Society of the Silver Cross’ “Wife of the Sea”. The collaboration between Seattle’s Joe and Karyn Gold-Reineke gains added luster from vocalist T.J. Cowgill’s one-of-a-kind vocal presence. The latter, working under the name King Dude, cast spectral powers over the lyrics and surrounding sonic landscape of this track that has an almost magical effect on listeners. I am sure that some listeners might find his touch a little pretentious. However, I will admit that while it takes some getting used to, the whispery atmosphere his vocals bring to this performance put it over the top as one of Society of the Silver Cross’ finest works yet.

S.O.S.C. INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/societyofthesilvercross/

KING DUDE INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/kingdudemusic/

It is impressive that they are working at such a high standard five years after releasing their debut. You might expect some hesitancy, and a need to build momentum, but Society of the Silver Cross’ “Wife of the Sea” essentially picks up where the band left off after their debut and hurdles their development forward several stages. It is the collaboration with Cowgill that makes much of the difference. His contributions to the song are, in effect, throwing down the artistic gauntlet for anyone encountering this work and making it clear that the Reinekes are not content resting on past laurels.

It does not end there. The presence of challenging yet accessible instrumentation is further evidence that Society of the Silver Cross is intent on pushing boundaries. I am dazzled by their willingness to incorporate offbeat instruments such as the Shahi Baaja, an electrified Indian instrument played by Leeni Ramadan, the Drum Scape synth box, and another unusual synth named the Swarmatron that requires a car key to power on. Blending such musical voices with Hammond B-3 organ, 6 and 12-string acoustic guitar, drums, and harmonium may sound like a recipe for clutter, but it never pans out that way. They seamlessly integrate each strand into the composition.

Karyn Gold- Reineke likewise contributes pivotal vocals that add a gentler edge to Cowgill’s comparatively ornate singing. There is a spiritual lilt to her voice that elevates the song as a whole rather than seeming out of place when contrasted with Cowgill’s style. The overall vocal melody has an underrated effect on the tune without ever overshadowing the nuanced arranging that further sets this track apart from more conventional everyday fare.

Achieving these effects within a four-minute framework is another notable accomplishment. Society of the Silver Cross clearly began the recording process with a sense of direction they never deviated from during the creative journey. It results in a complete work that never falters and promises to satisfy all but the most closed-minded listeners. Society of the Silver Cross’ “Wife of the Sea” has a powerful effect on you from the first hearing and later passes only deepening its impact. It is a thoroughly invigorating and demanding work that should nonetheless appeal to a vast swath of the music-buying public if they give it a chance.

Heather Savage 

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