A Day at the Desk

Still devoting a lot of listening time to Miike Snow. I was unconsciously finding “Black & Blue” an inspiration beat, despite its dark subject, then I realized the melody is reminiscent of Curtis Mayfield’s “Move On Up.” When you play the songs next to each other I can’t help but find a certain familiarity.

Alex Brown Church sings under the name Sea Wolf which is taken from a Jack London novel. He has a new album, White Water, White Bloom which was released at the end of September. The collection of songs feels like a  Flannery O’Conner short story blended with an Angela Carter’s gory fairytale. The songs evoke colorful imagery and folklore archetypes that make it perfect for listening to on a crisp fall day.

I first hear of Sea Wolf when he released his first solo album in 2007 and the song, “You\’re A Wolf”  began to receive heavy rotation in the indie circuit.  From the very first listen I was a fan of that song, but didn’t delve much deeper into Sea Wolf in the years to come, but with the first single off the new album I was immediately drawn back into this artist. Sadly, the album did not live up to the opening, “Wicked Blood” with its sweeping strings and piano arrangements that make for one helluva of a song. When Church builds to the chorus “There’s an ember in the rafters/ and it’s going to bring this whole thing down” the charging sound fills the ears with a powerful presence.  If you’re a fan Iron and Wine or other Northwestern bands, than Sea Wolf’s luscious melodies are not to miss (especially “Wicked Blood”).

I was recently listening to an in-studio session with Death Cab for Cutie and was reminded by what a lovely EP they put out in March titled The Open Door. It includes four new songs and two alternative takes from songs released on last year’s Narrow Stairs, though the collection feels like it could very well  be a b-side to the prior record. Sometimes the stability that Death Cab provides of continuously putting forth good tunes makes me forget how poetic Gibbard’s lyrics can be, for example with “My Mirror Speaks” he croons, “I always fall in love with an open door/the horizon on an endless sea/as I look around the ones standing who were standing/ right in front of me.”  These songs are filled with unrest, and I’m interested in what will come on next full release considering the joys of Gibbard’s recent marriage to Zooey Deschanel. The union is considered so monumental that they’ve been dubbed the Brad and Angelina for hipsters. Maybe a brighter outlook will soon be captured in their songs?

At the end of the month Ben Gibbard will release in collaboration with Jay Farrar of Son Volt a collection of songs inspired by Kerouac’s Big Sur. While I’m looking forward to this release, until then I’m enjoying The Open Door, and the new song “Meet Me on the Equinox” which is featured on Twilight’s New Moon Soundtrack.

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