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Effie Zilch Navigates Climate Change Crisis with ‘Ship Has Sailed’

On August 5, San Francisco-based indie rock duo Effie Zilch released their latest single, “Ship Has Sailed,” a protest song that addresses the climate change crisis and our responsibility to protect the earth. Released as the frontrunner to Environmental Awareness Month, celebrated annually in September, the track appears on the band’s forthcoming album, Trinity Vol. 2.

“But there’s two sides to every tale,” says lead singer Evanne Barcenas in the song’s refrain, adding, “So if you’re waiting for an easy way out, that ship has sailed.” Indeed, the negative imprint of humans on the environment is a long debated subject corroborated by changing weather patterns regionally and globally. Continuing to ignore what is staring us in the face feels ridiculous at this point. 

In spite of the weighty subject matter of “Ship Has Sailed,” the composition is irresistibly buoyant and catchy, blending soul, funk, and Americana to a delightful effect. Fans of The Staple Singers will identify with Effie Zilch’s sound, which feels natural and untethered in comparison to over-processed contemporary styles. 

Describing Effie Zilch as “an idea, a muse, a guiding light,” the creative force uses a softness of approach to relay their message, which makes it feel all the more powerful. In the midst of clapping, tapping their feet, and dancing, audiences are swept up in a spell that carries a darker undercurrent: we can put in the hard work of contributing to change now or face the devastating consequences of our failure to act. As part of the duo’s advocacy, proceeds from “Ship Has Sailed” will raise funds for non-profit The Ocean Cleanup.

A history of successful collaborations

Effie Zilch band members Evanne Barcenas and Steve Wyreman are long-time musical partners, having collaborated since they were teenagers. The duo has a proven track record in TV/sync songwriting with platforms including MTV and Fox Searchlight. Wyreman is a Grammy Award-winning musician and producer, contributing to projects for Percy Sledge, Leon Bridges, Richard Ashcroft, Rihanna, John Legend, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, and more.

“If you’re thinking just about yourself, that ship has sailed,” Barcenas sings in the alternate refrain. With its mention of a river by the highway that “doesn’t run the same” and plastic in the ocean, “Ship Has Sailed” is meant to inspire action in response to the climate change crisis. Fittingly, however, the duo keeps the message broad enough to allow the song to serve as a rallying cry against anything destructive that has been allowed to persist for too long.

Check out “Ship Has Sailed” below, and find more great music on the Alchemical Records Multigenre Mixture playlist on Spotify. Stay tuned for Effie Zilch’s new album, Trinity Vol. 2, which releases September 9.

Cynthia Gross

Maryland-based singer-songwriter Cynthia Gross seeks to inspire an awakening to all we are and all we can become. With a passion for language in all of its forms and more than a decade of experience as a professional ghostwriter, she is a light seeker who understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.

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