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Effie Zilch (from the album Trinity Vol. 2
Effie Zilch (from the album Trinity Vol. 2 available on Redtone Records) (by Brian Rock)
Americana duo, Effie Zilch, continues to cement their place in the burgeoning Soul-icana genre with their second album, Trinity Vol 2. Backed by a stellar studio session band, Effie Zilch infuses every song with the sweet, soulful sound of 60’s Stax songs. Joining the ranks of Bridgette DeMeyer, Jessie Wagner, Leon Bridges, Ruthie Foster, and Miko Marks (who lends her vocal talents to this release,) Effie Zilch are a welcome addition to the new Soul renaissance.
Bandmates Steve Wyreman and Evanne Barcenas introduce the album with the appropriately named, “Introduction”. A short, Cosmic Cowboy mediation on the dynamic tension between security and freedom, Barcenas singing “every kite has a twisted tail, built to rise but tethered underneath. It only comes alive if it can sail. But that’s just how it goes. On a string we reach…”. Hinting at what lies ahead, the song contemplates the relation between earth and sky, between physical and spiritual. Like the song, Barcenas’ voice captures both the earthiness of Emmylou Harris and the airiness of Dusty Springfield.
The Soul/Folk ballad “Love on Loan” continues to examine dualities as Evanne Barcenas finds herself ‘lost in a love all alone’. The beautifully melodic Folk infused “Rhododendron” is a story set against the majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains that recalls a woman’s chance encounter with a recent widow and her realization that sometimes you have to leave home to find home. “Switch in the Track” employs Piedmont Blues guitar rhythms and metaphoric language to try to go back in time to redo some poor life choices. Effie Zilch goes old school Soul on the ballad “Cut Through”. Barcenas’ emotive vocals convey the struggles we all face, like a river cutting its path through a mountain. Continuing the river metaphor in “Holy River”, Effie Zilch adds a Gospel touch to their Soul. Referencing Jesus’ quote that ‘out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water’, they remind us that the divinity we seek is all around us as well as within us. Singing ‘oh holy river won’t you shape this heart of stone, and move me right along and lay me down where I belong’ Barcenas finds herself by losing herself.
Again losing herself, this in the music, Evanne Barcenas’ voice really shines when they pick up the pace. Backed by funky guitar leads, Hammond organ and background singers, she adds a bit of growl and swagger to her voice as she urges her friend to choose love over money in “June”. Capturing the playful Funk energy of Cee Lo’s “Fuck You”, “Ship Has Sailed” warns us that there is no ‘easy way out’. We must all take responsibility for our actions, learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward. With a Gospel flourish at the end, Effie Zilch return to the theme of “Holy River”, singing ‘holy water is the only thing that’s gonna set us free’. “Room for Us All” encapsulates the themes of the album by reminding us that we are all one family. With a full Gospel wall of sound behind her, Evanne Barcenas testifies ‘there is only one hand to help you get on the ladder. So won’t you go on and shine your light. There’s plenty of room in the sky’. Reminding us that the things that divide us are miniscule from a cosmic perspective, Effie Zilch urges us to focus our attention on the infinite realm of Spirit.
Using parables like Jesus, Zen paradoxes like Buddha, and musical arrangements like Aretha Franklin, Effie Zilch delivers a musical sermon of joy and redemption. Ironically, the word Effie is Greek for ‘well-spoken’ and the word Zilch means ‘nothing’. So, the band’s name literally means ‘well-spoken nothing’. Perhaps a badge of humility or another Zen paradox about the futility of words to express spiritual realities; Efffie Zilch is actually eloquent enlightenment for those willing to hear. By combining their love of music and their unabashed love for God and the divinity within us all, Effie Zilch have created a gorgeous album replete with soul lifting stories of love and hope and joy. Amen to that! (by Brian Rock)
Listen and buy the music of Effie Zilch from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit Effie Zilch website
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