Partially paid for via crowdfunding website IndieGoGo, ‘The Golden Thread’ is Portland, Oregon singer-songwriter Andrew Serino’s first full-length album. An incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Serino has been in bands for most of his life and made a name for himself on his local scene, as well as auditioning for American Idol. He plays every single instrument on the album, resulting in a time-consuming recording process that took many months to achieve. Now finalised and released, it’s an album that Serino has a right to be proud of, and will certainly get him some of the attention he deserves further afield from Portland.
‘Wake Up’ is essentially the opening track after the short ‘Introduction’ and it certainly sets us off with a bang. It’s a thumping, fist pumping post-hardcore/emo rocker that will sound familiar to fans of the likes of At The Drive-In, Fall Out Boy and Anberlin. “I know that feeling, believe me,” he admits in this catch and feel good song exploring the bad habits we can all easily find ourselves falling into, urging the listener to “wake up” and fight their way out of it, or even perhaps, to wake up and see the light!
Andrew Serino – The Golden Thread
‘Arrogance’ goes further down into the pop-punk style, as does ‘Broken Record’, which has the slick, modern feel of current Paramore and Panic! At The Disco, with yet another catchy chorus. Serino has said it’s “his version of a love song”, and it’s a track that could be taken at face value as an actual love song, or it could easily be a love song to God. It’s up to the listener to make up their mind and take from it what they will. Serino readily admits he’s like a broken record because of how often he talks about the subject of the song, declaring he “will try to find the tallest mountaintop just to prove what I’d do to show my love”.
‘Honestly’ is a stand out track, featuring an appearance from Justin Abel, who produced the record but has an excellent voice too! It’s got more of a metalcore/emo Pierce The Veil type feel, as does ‘Deal With It’, a fast-paced hard rocker.
“I’m not a perfect person, I’m not a perfect person man, I’m trying to stay humble and I do the best I can” Serino sings in the title track ‘The Golden Thread’ which finishes off the collection of twelve songs, before screaming, “don’t let me stay broken” in a desperate plea to God to help him. It’s heartening to see someone unafraid to expose their fears and imperfections in such a way, and readily admit that we can’t all be perfect Christians. Towards the end of the song, there’s a repetition of the chorus from ‘Wake Up’, which echoes the theme of the album perfectly. It feels like the whole thing is calling society to open their hearts to God and allow him to heal and help us.
Both ‘Unwavering’ and ‘Shadows’ show Serino’s softer side with beautiful soaring power ballads and swirling soundscapes, the latter of which features a duet with his wife Heidi. With lyrics such as “I question what is real but you fight for me still” and “I’ll always love you cause you have found me”, again, it’s ony of those that could work as a simple love song to his wife, or a love song to God, which makes it a perfect fit for believers and non-believers alike.
It seems to be a recurring theme in the style of his writing. Anyone could enjoy Andrew Serino’s music, and that’s the beauty of it. For those ‘in the know’, the lyrics have multiple meanings. They work on the surface as regular songs, but you can also easily see the spiritual nuances that are clearly important to Serino. Presumably the hope is that this way of writing will cause secular listeners to think on different levels and dig a little deeper, a subtle evangelising tactic which has merit and does actually work.
In short, it’s an excellent debut album with lots of potential for future growth. Andrew Serino is a vibrant, exciting songwriter with an important message delivered in an accessible and fresh style.