If there’s anything the coronavirus has taught us, it’s that love and vigilance amid deceptively dangerous tedium is a virtue. We can’t let our guard down, yet we can’t succumb to fear.
“Pandemic,” Gypsy & Me’s powerful 4th CD, brings home the message that we can be our own worst enemies or find our greatest inner heroes during this overwhelming crisis.
Shades of City and Colour, Neil Young, Green Day and even Kate Bush emerge in a plaintive Americana mix of hope and sadness. The persistent rhythms, blue chords and mournful spaces created in this work will chill you, wake you, even beseech you.
This is not kid’s stuff, and Pandemic isn’t shy about warning the adults in the room about just what’s at stake here: the very fabric of the best of a freedom-loving culture that, if distorted toward selfishness, can calcify into aloneness and bring us to our knees.
The album’s songs touch upon morality, courage, common purpose, will and humility. “Survive” with its bagpipes-and-drum feel is a clarion call to vanquish the virus and use our ingenuity; “The Time Will Come” exhorts us to take care of the earth lest we succumb to our own neglect; “The Circle Never Ends” evokes the trudging-on feeling we’ve come to know as a new normal with lyrics like “I’ve been walking laps in what seems to be a maze…”
The album’s most compelling moments come back-to-back on “More Than Enough” and “Ain’t Done With You Yet.” The former is a piercing ode to self-doubt as Zarate’s crystal, wistful voice almost weeps, the singer trying to hold down the fort even as she “can't seem to believe that I am enough.” The latter stirs the most bracing emotions on the album as Moore reminds us how painful it can be to lose a loved one with the mournful lyrics:
“But I know you won't be far even though you'll be gone. Keep your faith ’til the end ‘cause God ain’t done with you yet.”
With the closing “Hindsight” blending shreds of the CD’s previous songs, it’s clear “Pandemic” is trying, and succeeding, to walk that fine thread between weakness and strength that weaves its way into our lives day in and day out – but especially during events of such magnitude that they can lead us to confront our greatest angels and demons. Expect more evocative offerings from this soul-searching duo.
Phillip J. Milano
Former Florida Times-Union Features Editor and cultural author
From North Carolina to South America and everywhere in between, Gypsy & Me are the perfect traveling companions and musical missionaries. These civil souls are always "grateful for the opportunity to share [their] story." They hope that their passion in music and life resonates with their listeners. I met these two at one of the best Low-County venues, Awendaw Green. It's the perfect embrace for traveling musicians to mingle with the locals.
Mike Moore and Kyzandrha Zárate have an array of talents that may start with a guitar and few vocals but end with a lifetime experience. They use the sounds of train tracks and airport noises to capture their lyrics and the ultimate musical essence. Although they have settled in North Carolina, it's very unmistakable that the world captures their home and hearts too.
Charleston, SC Music Blogger
For the full blog, visit: