St. Ophelia drops a new, hard-fought album

The end result is a diverse mix of songs, spanning genres and packed with all the emotions of the time in which it was born.

Saint Ophelia, a Vashon favorite, has released its eagerly anticipated second album.

Entitled “Love Deserves the Crown,” the 14-song collection was two tumultuous years in the making, created amidst the chaos of COVID and recorded in various locales.

The COVID shutdowns gave the band the gift of time, but nothing else, as members Rebekah Kuzma, Joe Panzetta, Dan Tyack, Wesley Peterson, and Chuck Keller had to contend with everything from brain fog and crashed hard drives to the deaths of loved ones.

“I’ll just come out with it — album two was a slog,” said Keller, the band’s bassist. “Trying to ‘self-record’ throughout a pandemic was not an easy experience.”

But the end result is a diverse mix of songs, spanning the genres of folk rock, psychedelia, country and jazz, and packed with all the emotions of the time in which it was born.

“I’m proud of this record,” said Kuzma, who is a vocalist and guitarist for the band. “It was a ton of work over many, many months. But it was well worth it.”

With encouragement from the band’s primary songwriter, Joe Panzetta, everyone contributed to the writing. It features original songs by Kuzma, Keller, and a song co-written by Tyack and Panzetta.

“Playing with this band gives me opportunities to express myself in ways I never have before,” said Tyack, the band’s pedal steel player.

The album features guest appearances by Dianne Krouse on clarinet; Kevin Nortness on saxophone; Annie Roberts on cello; Sarah Perlman on violin and Martin Feveyear on percussion.

Feveyear also produced the record.

The album was crowdfunded in part thanks to the contributions of 17 people, who are named with gratitude in the album credits.

“Love Deserves the Crown” is available at SaintOphelia.com, where you can sample the songs and/or pay to download your own copy via Bandcamp.

And mark your calendar: the band invites you to join them for an album release show at Open Space on Saturday, Feb 11.