Haunting and ethereal, Cody Summer‘s enchanting soprano voice weaves in and out of a tapestry of contemporary orchestral tinged tunes sprinkled with alt country, in her latest album, Canyons and Cathedrals. Incorporating melodic scales amongst some very contemporary sounding worship songs, and a few CCM styled songs, Cody explores her faith and an intimacy with God in a satisfying album. Mixing a southwest or western styled vibe with contemporary music and some orchestral touches, this is a beautiful offering.
At times evoking Amy Lee, at other times intimating Sarah Brightman, Cody Summer delivers breath taking vocals from song to song. Opening with an “Unshakeable” song awash with strings and grandeur, Cody’s voice floats over the roar in declaration. Cody really takes some interesting risks that pay off, especially in the song, “I Need You.” Utilizing a melodic minor scale and employing dissonance in the verses, pits some excellent arranging for an open and free chorus that drives the meaning of the song. Likewise, “Crave” implements a similar strategy of aligning a melodic minor with an urging and driving undercurrent with stirring string sections, invoking the stirring of the hunger for more of God. Throughout the rest of the album, slide guitar, some darker guitar strumming, and the driving rhythm of the southwest dominates many of the tracks. She does revisit a track from her 2014 EP, “Worthy is Your Name,” with subtle rewrites and updated arrangement.
Many of the tracks have the feel and beauty of one walking through the beauty of the outdoors while atop a horse or under star filled nights away from civilization, just the beauty of nature, quiet and the wind blowing through ancient canyons. Exploring Cody’s bio, it’s no wonder that such feel and depth infiltrates Canyons and Cathedrals. She has spent time as a cowboy, a camp cook, an elephant trainer, wrangled alpacas, among a variety of other things in her short 30 years of life. Stating that she prefers singing than dealing with ornery animals, we feel she’s on the right track. Her voice is sweet and emotive, her songwriting full of faith and devotion, and paints a unique journey that many will be able to relate to.
If you like this album, be sure to pick up her 2014 EP The Unplugged Worship Sessions, and various singles she’s released.
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Cody Summer currently resides in Montello, Nevada.