by Kyle K. Mann
Gonzo Today Publisher and Contributing Editor
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Charisma is an essentially undefinable thing in our world culture and in the history of humankind. Some people have an amazing amount of it, whatever it is, to go with their skills, and that combination can, under the right circumstances, lead to Big Things.
Music is a field of artistic endeavor that is immediate, in that most people who listen to it either like it or not fairly quickly. With that in mind, a lot of popular music over the last century or two tries to make a big impression right off the bat. For many singers, establishing the immediate intersection of charisma and vocal “chops” is crucial.
Which brings us to Sierra Drummond’s new single song release “Signs,” a recording that debuted in late November ‘22 and is gathering steam on Spotify and other music distribution platforms.
I haven’t timed the instrumental introduction to “Signs” but it is not brief, consisting of mellow acoustic guitar and an understated, brilliantly supportive synthesizer played by Sierra’s mother Mary Harris, a Coral Reefer Band alumni and current touring member of Ambrosia and Tin Drum, the band Harris founded with husband Burleigh Drummond. The song’s build is thoughtful, sweet, and promising, not seeking to impress listeners all at once.
And when Sierra begins to sing, it is entrancing. Yes, her voice is soft yet smoky, a unique sound being created deep in her throat. But it’s more than that.
It slowly becomes clear, listening, that this is an important statement on a topic many if not most of us can understand, the permanent loss of someone near and dear to us. “Signs” takes that grief a step further, to the point of actually speaking to the departed loved one, in this case Sierra’s lost cousin Darcie, to whom Sierra was very close.
But is Darcie truly lost? It’s this unanswerable question that Sierra Drummond boldly asks, in looking for signs of spirit that remain after death. Can spirit remain, and communicate with those of us still riding in bodies? Is there a possibility of reconciliation with loved ones who have passed over into a state that we the living cannot fully comprehend?
There are no questions more important. Using her guitar and voice, Sierra slips under the listener’s guard and cracks open the protective shell we create around our pain, has us examine that pain and carefully mourn and celebrate the love that was, and still is.
“Can you hear me? I just wish you were near me,” sings Sierra with simple, quiet resignation, with a beauty of heartbreaking charisma that will move anyone still able to be moved in our seemingly increasingly callous society.
Bottom Line: “Signs” deserves a listen, and inclusion on playlists. And keep an eye on Sierra, who is coming into her own at age 26. Predictions of fame and fortune are useless in our crazy modern era, but in “Signs” Sierra Drummond is taking a sonic direction that leads towards a light-filled path celebrating life and love.
No matter what happens next, Sierra has already Made It.
Kyle K. Mann
Dec. 6, 2022