Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Sea The Sea - Love We Are We Love

One of the most satisfying aspects of music listening is when the harmony is done well especially where the rich blend of voices is soothed by soft string arrangements. That is exactly what US folk roots duo The Sea The Sea has succeeded in capturing on their debut album LOVE WE ARE WE LOVE. The singer-songwriter duo of Chuck E. Costa and Mira Stanley have taken a while to develop their chance acquaintance into a recording that has a destiny feel to it but the proof of their inevitable liaison lies within the listening of this thoughtful and metaphorical album.

The hypnotic, stirring and palindromic title track ‘Love We Are We Love’ is a worthy tune to project the album and is symbolic of the duo’s approach to music, posing questions to the answers that only the medium of song writing really excels at. The whole record reverberates around the theme of experiencing that leap of faith which while extremely relevant to Chuck and Mira is capable of reaching out into the mind of the listener. Without veering into pop territory, the record has an instant appeal which entwines you deeper on each subsequent listen.

Although the record has been available in the US for much of 2014, it’s getting a formal UK release on September 1 and there is a slight irony that this review is being written in the same week that The Civil Wars sealed the formalities of their split. The similarities with this commercially successful duo are not too difficult to detect and the record has some potential to tap into the public appetite for this type of roots music. With the current trend of the banjo acquiring cool status, the scene setting album opener ‘Re; Blah’ bases its musical arrangement on this traditional string instrument and is another of the leading tracks on an absorbing release packed with a substantial 13 songs.

The duo adopted their name from an ancient Greek tale recalling the joy of weary soldiers returning to a coastal base and this degree of intelligent thought threads through much of the album. For those inclined to tapping further into these thoughts, the band has an excellent website section where Chuck and Mira share the intimacies on the origin of each song. This will enhance the enjoyment and understanding of an album, benefitting from the careful production of Todd Sickafoose.

The pick from the remainder of LOVE WE ARE WE LOVE lays within the gorgeous chorus and vocals decorating the track ‘If I Go (Chicago)’, a city of personal relevance to Chuck and Mira. The beautiful humming intro to ‘Guess It Was’ leads into another wonderful track where there is more than an element to Holly Williams in the vocal contribution of Mira. The second part of the album adopts a softer groove with a subtle dreamy sound defining many of the tracks.

With an album rich in influence and depth along with a duo keen to share such thoughts, The Sea The Sea appear to be the ideal live act to frequent some of the UK’s more intimate listening venues. While LOVE WE ARE WE LOVE has much going for it, a visit to our shores for shows will help enormously in its promotion and awareness. In the mouth-watering anticipation of this, take a leap of faith with your music engagement and acquaint yourself with this record.

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