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coverpic flag US - Illinois - Full Moon 78 - 02/16/03

The Sea and Cake
One Bedroom
Thrill Jockey

A chaotic emotional life can really disrupt being a music fan. A couple of weeks into listening to this album and I have to confess I started to ask myself 'What are The Sea and Cake for? What are their albums about?' Previously content to just lay back and become catatonic to the blissful music, "One Bedroom" had me wanting to work out what on earth Sam Prekop is huskily whispering about this time round - I noticed I've never paid any attention to what they are saying.

A strange feeling, and thankfully one that has passed. The answer to my fears was simple: the point of The Sea and Cake is to produce sublimely beautiful music; their albums are simply a means of allowing the general public a taste of that sweet heaven.

I've spent too long trying to convince everyone I know to get into The Sea and Cake. My best friend Mark was easy - we have similar tastes, and dammit he knows a good tune when he hears one, so the fact that all The Sea and Cake do is write genius tunes won him over instantly when he heard Nassau. No one else really takes any notice, partly because of the band's name.

The Sea and Cake? Perfect name for them really, seeing as it doesn't really mean anything, and yet rolls off the tongue, conjures surreal images, and makes you wonder. I'm sure Sam, Eric, John and Archer don't question what they do, they just 'press on in a lucid style' ("Left Side Clouded").

If anyone reading this does anything today, make it this: go out and buy this album, and anything else by The Sea and Cake you can get your hands on. Why? Start here:

"Four Corners" demonstrates the virtuousity of each member of the band, the guitars, bass, drums and synths locking together and caressing each other till they ooze and squirm in a chocolatey froth. Then Sam comes in, chiming high in the mix, icy and cool, before getting lost, echoing in John's magical mix fadeout.

I could blather like this for each of the ten tracks, but here's a pick of the kind of things I could say:

Eric Claridge's bass playing is so smooth, melodic and perfect that I want to fuck him.

When each member of the band is playing so wonderfully in sync it's impossible not to melt: we're talking timing, tone, timbre and accent. Everything balances.

Oh fuck it, I can't be bothered. If you aren't convinced by now you can fuck off. I'm going to listen to the album...

Copyright © 2003 Tim Clarke e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Sea and Cake articles/reviews: A brief guide to ..., Car Alarm, Everybody, Oui, Runner.

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