Premiere: The Cowards Choir Evoke a Circle of Life on “The Singing Tree”

We are all a part of the same story: Though we take very different roads, our journeys often look the same. The Cowards Choir evoke the circle of life on “The Singing Tree,” an homage to the connections, values and stories we hold sacred, which we will impart on the next generation.

Let’s go out to the singin tree
Mama, she made a place for me
told me that’s where I come from
and I remember every song
underneath those maple leaves
if you hold your breath
you can hear them speak
and the roots go down
deep into the soil they grow
the roots go down
Watch: “The Singing Tree” – The Cowards Choir


Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “The Singing Tree,” the hauntingly poignant new song from The Cowards Choir. Originally the moniker for Virginia-based singer/songwriter Andy Zipf, The Cowards Choir has grown into a magnificent collective of artists who all share in the vision of an immersive, body-mind-and-soul experience. Consisting today of Andy Zipf, Ryan Walker, Alissa Moore, Dayana Yochim, Logan Lamons, Sara Curtin, and Maureen Andary, The Cowards Choir septet are a formidable force to behold.

“The Singing Tree” is The Cowards Choir’s first official offering since the release of their 2016 debut album Name The Fear, a breathtakingly expansive collection of folk, revival, and roots music that displays the group’s powerful grasp of dynamics and emotion. The live video is the first in a series, which will culminate in a to-be-announced collaborative piece.

like a hunter comes the night
reachin for a restless mind
in his hand, a dulling blade
with its edge, darkness he makes
in my mouth, I beg and plead
keep me bound to the singin tree
and the roots go down
deep into the soil they grow
the roots go down
Cowards Choir - The Singing Tree © 2017

Cowards Choir – The Singing Tree © 2017

Sweet harmonies open the piece with soul-shattering warmth. “Let’s go out to the singin tree,” sings Zipf quaintly. “Mama, she made a place for me.” His plaintive vocal is frank; his words, along with the instruments around him, carry a deep resonance as they fill up the cavernous room.

The Cowards Choir

The Cowards Choir

“The Singing Tree” is a stirring homage to Zipf’s roots. “When I was little, my family lived in a neighborhood of Indianapolis called Frog Holler,” recalls Andy Zipf. “My mom has always taught music, as long as I can remember, and some of my first memories are of her singing with the kids in the neighborhood. I recently asked her about it, and she referred to ‘The Singing Tree‘ in front of our house, where they would sit underneath and sing. Sometimes, she told me, I would crawl over and listen.”

“After hearing that story, I wrote this song. My wife and I have a little boy of our own now. There are things I want to teach him…to pass on to him… One of which is the beauty of voices raised together. Perhaps even no words. Just melody. It is inexplicable joy.” In the third verse, Zipf sings directly to this newfound purpose in his life:

Let’s go out to the singin tree
Mama, she left a place for me
now I got a child of my own
and I’m gonna teach him every song
underneath those maple leaves
if you hold your breath
you can hear them speak
and the roots go down
deep into the soil they grow
the roots go down
Cowards Choir © 2017

Cowards Choir © 2017

That joy comes out in force on “The Singing Tree,” a humbling observation of the circle of life. Fragile and intimate, the song builds from a whisper to a roar, channeling raw passion into evocative energy. The audio is the band’s very first take, a testament to the exceptional musicianship of its members.

Emotional music swells on every spine-tingling chorus as the passing of time calls a new generation to bear the fruits of the singing tree. The Cowards Choir look to the past, present, and future in capturing the delicate beauty and awesome power of time: Captivating and honest, “The Singing Tree” is one to remember.

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Cowards Choir - The Singing Tree live

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com