I believe in being honest, so I won’t pull any punches here — I generally loathe any type of religious music as a matter of personal principle.
That’s not hyperbole. I’ve had horrible experiences with the genre. I used to become visibly angry when my mission companions would force me to listen to endless EFY compilations. I don’t know why. I couldn’t explain it then and I still can’t now. I just didn’t like it and it would agitate me to no end.
Perhaps it’s the fact that I find 98 percent of religious music (especially that of the LDS variety) to be heavy-handed, unnecessarily melodramatic, overly kitschy and generally unlistenable. In the world of faith-based tunes, there seems to be no happy medium between the seemingly commercialized arena megachurch anthems of contemporary Christian rock and the pseudo-funeral dirges moped out by LDS artists on the myriad of overpriced collections sold at Deseret Book. Basically, I don’t believe there’s really anyone out there (of any religious denomination) making great worship music. Condemn me to hell if you must, but that’s just how I see it.
Or rather, that’s how I saw it — before I encountered Seafinch.
Asher Seevinck, the man behind Seafinch, makes faith-based music that truly inspires you in a deeply profound way. For some inexplicable reason, I just feel great when I listen to his songs. All of the tracks on his debut EP, Who’s Going to Hold You in the Evening, are based on stories from the New Testament, yet the listener doesn’t come away feeling like his head has been severely bludgeoned as is sometimes the case with other religious artists.
No, Seevinck makes worship music that is — prepare yourselves — subtle. In fact, it took me a few listens through the EP to begin to pick out the exact stories he was spinning through song. However, though he doesn’t lay it thick on the surface, Seevinck’s penetrating insights into some of Christianity’s greatest principles and events are deep — and they only continue to deepen with each successive listen. If you’ve ever found yourself skeptical of Christian music before, give Seafinch a chance before you disregard the genre altogether.
The most harrowing track on the record is undoubtedly “I’ve Got to Make Things Right,” which conveys the remorse felt by Judas Iscariot following his betrayal of Jesus. Seevinck’s repeated refrain “They gave me all this money for a little kiss / Shoulda given the money back / It was a horrible kiss” perfectly encapsulates the immense guilt that would ultimately drive Judas to suicide after he realized that “not even He could forgive me.” The song serves both as a cautionary tale and a profoundly affecting portrayal of a man shattered by his own hand.
Other standouts include “When We Were Young,” in which Peter responds to the Master’s questioning of his loyalty and faces up to his ultimate failure to follow through on his convictions, and the gospel-tinged “It Might Be You” that radiates hope and faith from every guitar chord. Indeed, Seevinck’s husky voice is the perfect vehicle to tell these stories in such a way that nearly brings the listener back to ancient times. Save yourself the cost of a trip to Jerusalem; invest a couple dollars in the new Seafinch EP instead and let Asher Seevinck take you on a personal tour of scriptural history with only his faith, a guitar and some gorgeous melodies as the ultimate guide. Who’s Going to Hold You in the Evening is a simultaneously enjoyable, thought-provoking and truly spiritual experience, even for a Christian rock cynic like myself.
Seafinch will release their new EP, Who’s Going to Hold You in the Evening, on Thursday, November 5th at their CD release show at Velour Live Music Gallery in Provo. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. and admission is $8. Seafinch will play a live set, along with Trace Bundy and Scott Bowden. Be there!
Steve Pierce is editor and co-founder of Rhombus. If you couldn’t tell, he has a strong distaste for EFY compilations — and a deep love of Seafinch’s subtlety.
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