ALBUM REVIEW: Silver Reeds Delivers Journey Of Growth & Acceptance On New Record ‘What To Leave Behind’

Growing and changing is a lifelong process. We never reach a certain point where we suddenly have all the answers; instead, we learn small lessons over time and, one day, we realize we understand ourselves a lot better than we did before. 

This concept of growing into ourselves and learning from our experiences is beautifully displayed on Silver Reeds’ debut LP, What To Leave Behind, which dropped last week, July 14th. 

Silver Reeds is the music of Sandra Zelazny, a former goldsmith who is venturing back into the music scene. She learned classical piano and guitar during her upbringing on the east coast of Canada, and despite pursuing a career in jewelry, her love for making music always remained a fixture in her life.

Based out of Toronto, she’s honed her chops performing at open mic nights, played drums in local rock and punk bands, and has never ceased in crafting her own songs. Now, she has put together a collection of her work in an honest, wistful, and poetic album. 

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“Phantom Limb,” the LP’s opening track, pulls the listener in immediately with its folky, energetic string melodies and honest lyrics. The track grows and diminishes dynamically throughout, keeping the listener’s attention and setting the scene for the album’s overall contrast of light and heavy, sweet and powerful. 

The first single of the album, which was released in April of this year, is “Tarot,” a catchy and unique spin on the classic “getting-over-an-ex” anthem. The track focuses more on growing as a person and moving from unhealthy coping mechanisms to productive and happy ones. The lyrics and instrumentals work together to create a song that is likely to get stuck in the listener’s head, but ultimately teach them a valuable lesson along the way.

The second single, “Seeing Stars,” dropped last month, and demonstrated a new facet of Zelazny’s sound. Its wonderfully clunky and unique instrumentals like a thumping bass line and driving percussion beats make for a truly catchy, captivating tune about realizing when to move on.

“Seeing Stars”

Another standout on the album is the seventh track, “Getting Out Of Dreamland.” The echoey production via James Bunton creates a hazy, wistful sound that fits with the sound of the rest of the album, while also taking it a step further and really laying into the dreamlike nature of Zelazny’s style. It’s simple yet impactful, especially with lines like, “Do you still want me to hide out in this broken head and use your mouth to speak instead?” This track serves as a deep reflection about a relationship, and its relatability matched with the dreaminess of the sound makes it truly memorable.

The closing track, “Dance With Me,” concludes the album on a light and hopeful note, chock full of sweetness with lines like, “We’re already all that we need to be” and “Look at all we’ve learned / It pales to all we’ve yet to see.” The dreamy, quiet honesty of the track serves as a lovely place to leave the listener—a calm place of contentment after the journey of growth embarked upon with Silver Reeds.

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