I just got back from some time in the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon. We were fortunate enough to be able to attend the most lovely wedding. I’d never been there despite growing up only a couple of hours away. I didn’t expect it to be anything too exciting because I rarely have high expectations about anything to do with Pennsylvania. But it was breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking and hauntingly majestic. The weather was simultaneously ghastly and perfect. Cold, rainy, misty, dense. It was beautiful. The vibrant reds and oranges of the trees seeped through the fog. The gentle, deciduous hills sailed upward bits of mist clinging to their sides. The rain stopped just in time for the wedding and we all found ourselves huddled around an enormous bonfire next to the swift and cunning creek, eating potluck food and laughing. The next morning, the sun cut through the fog casting rich shadows everywhere. That’s this EP. I listened to it yesterday and it brought back all of the nuances of the scenery, of the charming, rustic wedding, of the warmth of that bonfire in the midst of that damp and misty cold. Seneca and the River is a band out of Los Angeles but Eastern people should like them too. Their mellow, folk-rock sound is blissful. Their debut EP is self-titled.
“Come Down Here” is the moment that the sun comes out, the canyon twists and turns, you’re sore and tired from dancing and celebrating. You look up at the canyon and see the sun washing over the angles of one of those soaring hills. The vocals on this track are spot on, they dip and rise. There are trumpets and twanging, jangling guitars. Lead lady, Seneca Pettee’s voice is rich and smooth like the swirls of red clay in the riverbank. Her voice is like good leather shoes–familiar, comfortable, soft, tanned, earthy, and never out of style.
The opening verse of “Love Does Grow Old”, her voice really shines. Minimal instrumentals, its depth and richness pours into your brain and pools somewhere around your heart, a little puddle of clear warmth. I love the trumpets, subtle and bright. “And I fumble through the trees, falling down upon my ragged knees. And I try to see your face but your memory is lost in the breeze.” The song itself is bitter and sad, about strugging through the hard parts or even the end of a relationship. It sticks in your mind, though. And it is beautiful.
Check out this band, play these four songs over and over until you ascribe your own memories to them.