Andy Zipf’s “Our Voice Is A Weapon”

A singer/songwriter and guitar player, Andy Zipf (pronounced ZIFF) is clearly on a mission.  Having played over 400 shows since 2007, he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon as he trails through the south and southwest over the next couple months. His latest EP, Our Voice Is A Weapon, which released last October, is a […]

Beth Yeckley
Andy Zipf - Our Voice is a Weapon

7
out of 10


Our Voice is a Weapon
October 2009

A singer/songwriter and guitar player, Andy Zipf (pronounced ZIFF) is clearly on a mission.  Having played over 400 shows since 2007, he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon as he trails through the south and southwest over the next couple months. His latest EP, Our Voice Is A Weapon, which released last October, is a nice addition to the handful of other EP’s and full-lengths that he’s put out over the last eight years. What I find most exciting about Zipf is that his ability to command attention is derived from his gift for creating raw-sounding music without the hang-ups of lo-fi quality.

Zipf’s music resonates in a way that puts you in a time and place. Songs like “Our Voice Is A Weapon” showcase his fiery guitar play that suggests he could start a revolution with his fingertips alone. Accompanied by clapping and a tambourine in the background, it’s as if he wrote this song on a mountaintop, with intent to usher in a change that would uplift the hearts of every man, woman, and child who can give a listen. “Storm is Breaking” actually feels like waiting on the edge of a storm—that point at which you can smell rain coming. Zipf tells a story in which listeners can see children running down into a cellar and clouds rolling over dry fields. And the intro to “See No Saviour” feels like the solemn beginnings of a drunken lullaby, before the words ever speak.

“Stumble On The Line” is undoubtedly the brightest moment on this EP, giving listeners a song to fall in love to (yes, “to” and not “with”).  He sings, “I walk a weathered canyon / You the rapids cutting through it / Years and layers start to show / In the soil there is a swelling beating rhythm to it / An honest prayer I used to know.” And it becomes increasingly clear that he is writing music that is meant to bind itself to our souls, interlocking our fingers with his notes, our eyes blending with his vision of what music is.  He follows with, “On the one side I reach you / On the other I try to leave you / In between the fault of my youth / I stumble on the line to love you.” Listening to this song feels like taking a piece of string, and unraveling all its threads, undoing it inch by inch and revealing all the elements that create this song—Zipf’s falsetto, the percussion added by Sam West, the earnest call of the French Horn by Cameron West, and the delicate nature of the guitar.

It’s very difficult to walk away from listening to this EP, or anything Andy Zipf sings, without feeling something. More often than not, I think his music can leave listeners feeling all sorts of vulnerable and seen-through, like we have just shared a lifetime of something with each other. As a short EP, it’s worth picking up and definitely looking out for what’s next from him.

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