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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Seeking spiritual sounds: Seeker & Servant takes Christian worship music to unexpected places

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Seeker & Servant

One fan’s YouTube comment may explain Seeker & Servant’s combination of folk and electronic influences best: “Fleet Foxes meets M83.”

The Jackson-based band, a new arrival on the Christian music scene, began to produce music in late 2012 and brought its refreshingly atypical sound to the worship genre.

Brothers Cameron and Chandler Wood — and later Kody Gautier, senior educational psychology major at Mississippi State University — form Seeker & Servant. 

The band was formed when Cameron Wood, lead singer and keyboardist, and Chandler Wood, his brother and guitarist, began to write worship songs for a church they helped establish in Flowood, Miss. 

Because of their roots in the music world, Chandler Wood said writing music came to them effortlessly. 

Chandler Wood said although he and his brother had experience crafting songs, they were not exactly equipped to write more worshipful lyrics.

“We both had previously played in another band that had traveled a good bit, so writing music wasn’t new to us at this point, but writing more worshipful songs was,” he said. “We just wanted to strip away all the big sounds of a full-band and focus on truly writing music and lyrics from our heart.”

As the brothers wrote music, they sought out a third member who would be able to help shape the percussion in the songs.

Chandler Wood said their desire for innovative beats and drum patterns was what led them to reconnect with childhood friend Gautier.

“We didn’t really have any idea of what we wanted, but we know we wanted something different, not like normal percussion. As we looked and prayed on it, I happened to come across an old childhood friend’s (Gautier) SoundCloud account where he posted some beats and programming stuff he did. I had no clue he even did music, and we had not talked to him in probably 10 years or more,” he said. “Nonetheless, we were pleased with his stuff, so I reached out to him over Facebook and within the next month we all were working together on music.”

Gautier joined the band and made the trek from Starkville to Jackson every time Seeker & Servant had a show. Gautier said that he, Christian Wood and Chandler Wood worked together to create sound unlike anything in the genre of Christian music.

“They liked what I did, so we continued to work together writing new songs,” he said. “Eventually the work of the three of us together formed a brand new sound that was original for the worship music scene, and we decided to record an album.”

Chandler Wood said he and his brother admired Gautier’s work ethic and knew with him they could succeed.

“Cameron and I loved that determination and commitment that Kody had, and that’s what really let us know that this was all going to work and could go further than any project we’ve had our hand in previously,” he said.

The band began to write songs together in April 2013. While Chandler Wood said he and his brother had some reservations about writing with a new member, it turned out Gautier was a great addition to the writing process.

“We weren’t exactly sure how it was going to go because Cameron and I have always been really exclusive when it came to writing music and lyrics, but it came out that writing with Kody was one of the best experiences we’ve had writing,” he said. “Kody is an absolute genius and contributed so much to the process. It was just incredible because we all were excited about the stuff we were writing, and we all supported each other’s thoughts and ideas.” 

Chandler Wood said success happened quickly for the band because of the brotherhood the three members formed. 

 “We truly all became a part of a brotherhood, and because of our amazing connection, we continued to write all the time. The rest is history,” he said. “Everything moved fast for us, but it’s been one of the best, if not the best, experiences we’ve ever had. It’s all God.”

The band released its first-full length record, “Into Your Love I Go,” on Jan. 7. Seeker & Servant’s self-described, ambient/electronic/folk/worship, music can be heard in the album’s eight songs.

Gautier said the band’s tunes are immediately pigeonholed because of its worshipful lyrics but that sounds from various syles inform Seeker & Servant’s music. 

“Our music could be considered Christian worship music merely because of its lyrical content. Musically, however, it’s an original blend of many different sounds coming from our own creation,” he said. “To describe our sound in a broad, general sense, we have an electronic, indie rock, folk blend.We have been compared to bands such as Arcade Fire, Rend Collective Experiment, M83 and others.”

Chandler Wood said the band desires for listeners to relate to its songs and experience reverence for and awe of Christ. 

“When people listen to our music, we want them to experience the love of Christ and to feel a realness, like they can feel comfortable with our songs enough to where they can just let go and relate,” he said. “At the end of the day though, we don’t make music for our own gain, we make it so that Christ is glorified, so we hope people will  worship him through it and see him through it.”

Gautier said Seeker & Servant creates each song with joy, and the band wants all listeners to witness and experience that same joy.

“Our songs and our sound are made with joy for others to share in that same joy with us. We want to leave people with hope and joy when listening to our music,” he said.

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Seeking spiritual sounds: Seeker & Servant takes Christian worship music to unexpected places