Sarah and the Safe Word

You have to love a band that maps out their content just perfectly. On the first day of the winter solstice, Sarah and the Safe Word have returned once again with an expansive and heavy single called “Solstice.” From the opening lines of, “A little crow, he came to me / And asked what to do with the snow / We tried and tried to sweep it clean, but the cold / It continued to blow,” the band immediately transports the listener to the world created by them, and it matches the cover art nicely. It also ends up being one of the longer songs in Sarah and the Safe Word’s discography, and yet it makes for a thrilling listen for every single beat.

The first things you’ll likely notice on this great single is the sweeping orchestra that accompanies the drumbeat of the track, as well as the screamed pre-chorus of, “Consequence-less / Your cost of business.” This bleeds away beautifully into the anthemic lines of, “Whispers loud / Vicious and vile, they turn the crowd / The curtain call’s a little too real right / Now they are rushing and pushing and begging for blood / The lights are going down.” Sarah Rose’s vocal approach continues to improve on each new song released, and I came away incredibly impressed with her continued maturation as a vocalist.

The back half of the single is a thrilling ride of aggressive-tinged beauty, as the backing chorus explains the picturesque, yet brutal scene of the crow’s last breaths with, “‘Be a good bird and sing’ / The embers in timbers / They live for December / And we know the fire they’ll bring,” and it becomes evident of the chaos that has ensued.

As heavy as the material that is brought forth on this single, Sarah and the Safe Word still leave the listener with a glimmer of hope with the last lyrical lines of, “I stand to my feet / I spread my wings / And I take my crown.” It marks a triumphant return to the scene that seems to have no limits for this ultra-talented band. With so much despair looking ahead to this winter filled with more uncertainty than there may have ever been in the world, it’s good to know that there are still reasons to carry on when the music coming forth is this rich.