As soon as I heard Our Goodbye I fell in love with the song and the voice of the songwriter, Seneca Block, lead singer and guitarist of The Crosswalk Kings. Our Goodbye is a gentle lullaby of love and loss, and its simple poetry perfectly expresses the profound subject of parting.
Life is a field of green
Between winter snows
So when your heart knows loss,
You will find love to know,
They’re cut from the same cloth.
And I hope that it makes you smile
One more time.
And I won’t forget you.
When I become the earth.
And all the beautiful flowers
To whom I give birth,
Call out your name,
I hope that it makes you smile
One more time.
Don’t you worry away your days.
We will find our way.
So smile, this is our goodbye.
This is our goodbye.
Our Goodbye is just under three minutes, and the tempo is moderate, but yet I had to play the song over and over because it disappeared too soon. I wanted to hear it again and again and besides, I couldn’t write. I was crying my eyes out.
Our Goodbye is in 3/4 time and starts with a swaying acoustic guitar. Seneca Block’s voice comes in and lies down gently on top. At about the 2:20 mark the full band kicks in. At this point Seneca sounds like his heart is breaking, even as he tries to reassure us, or perhaps himself, that things are going to be all right. My skin prickles when Jon Simmons comes in on piano, playing a lovely, conversational melody line that for me, is the voice of the person Seneca is singing to.
At 2:50 the piano melody—so simple, so expressive—gives me full on goosebumps, and then too soon, like the song, it’s over. But that melody line answers Seneca’s lyrics, and just as Seneca seems to want to reassure us even as his heart is quietly breaking, the piano sounds as if it seeks to reassure him. The conversation is complete. We’ve been privileged listeners.
Seneca Block’s vocals make think just for a second of John Mayer, and someone else who I can’t quite place, someone who really knows how to sing. To my ears Seneca Block’s singing voice is close to speech, a style that is authentic and soothing and a personal favorite of mine.
When so many people are spilling themselves all over the media, their souls bared to such extremes that their performances are nearly without nuance, hearing the restraint in Seneca’s voice is a relief, a rare breath of artful restraint that promises a gentle, healthy intimacy.
Our Goodbye was recorded at Emerson Radio Station and I’ve included a bunch of pics from the session. I love these photos, they match the honest music of The Crosswalk Kings.
Based in Boston, The Crosswalk Kings have a singer songwriter/pop/rock sound that could be called Adult Contemporary, although I’m not sure if that label is quite right for them. The quiet yearning in Seneca Block’s voice is something we will all know at various times in our lives and resonates like good poetry. I don’t like the idea of putting this band in a box.
The Crosswalk Kings uploaded three songs to the Sirenstories SoundCloud, so I’m sure I’ll post more about them at some point, but really, I can’t wait to hear what they do next in the studio. Click on their pics and you’ll wind up at their Reverbnation page or their fb page where they’ve just posted a few new beautiful demos.