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“Goldenrod” by Lyle de Vintry Review

“Goldenrod” by Lyle de Vintry is a love letter sent to Mother Nature. It begins with drizzling rain–the pleasant kind–which perfectly sets the mood for the rest of the piece. There is a subtle whirring beneath de Vintry’s fingerpicking guitar and his Sufjan Stevens-style vocals, reminiscent of an antique clock ticking in your grandmother’s house or some sort of nostalgic emotion personified. A riverbed ringing plays during the instrumental sections, sounding similarly to a windchime dancing in the breeze. If you listen closely enough, there is a vibrational drum gong, an additional layer of movement in “Goldenrod.” It bears a resemblance to the theme song of Anne With An E, where both nature and the trials of life are acutely represented.


After creating the ambiance, de Vintry poetically puts the beauty of nature into words and melody; a mountain river is likened to a sculptor, bending “through countless years” until it unites with the ocean. In the second verse, the imagery shifts to a meadow full of goldenrod, a plant that blooms in autumn, specifically in September. Both stanzas, however, are followed by the longing phrase “take me home,” building on the intimate connection and sentimentality with these natural phenomena already felt through the production. Looking at the composition of the song, there is a dissonant half-step between the 3rd and 4th strings (of the guitar), which as de Vitry put it, “[creates] a nostalgic feeling even before you begin…It can leave you with a sense of longing.” These elements work together to piece the calming puzzle that is “Goldenrod.”


This track is especially special to me since, while I live in California, I am from New York where goldenrod vibrantly blooms. I recently went this September and the goldenrod was a highlight of the trip, so the mantra “take me home” in connection with it feels perfectly suited for my own experiences. However, no matter one’s relationship with goldenrod specifically, the ethereal essence of the song can transport anybody to a meaningful natural landscape of their own. The overall message is a powerful one, akin to anybody: to fall in love with a new home is not to fall out of love with an old home. Time may pass, but the delight in nature and life will not.



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