Imagine yourself for a moment driving down a long stretch of highway in the middle of nowhere, alone, windows down, with nothing but warm summer skies, a cold drink, and a cigarette between your lips. All that’s missing from this scene is the perfect soundtrack. Look no further, because the Sea and Cake’s new EP, Glass (Thrill 125), is handcrafted for summer road trips and make-out sessions under the stars.
The Sea and Cake’s eighth album offers four new songs and three remixes by Stereolab, Broadcast and Carl Craig. Members Sam Prekop (vocals and guitars), Erik Claridge (bass), John McEntire (drums) and Archer Prewitt (guitar) work gracefully together to blur soothing guitars, melodic bass, inventive percussion lines, and experimental electronic and synthesizer tones in an effort to produce a rarely chartered form of musical beauty.
The album opens with a double dose of “To The Author,” with the second version reprogrammed as a more upbeat extension of the first. “Traditional Wax Coin” follows and features Prewitt on piano submersed in a sea of background beats, creating a modern spin on more traditional jazz. Prekop’s lack of vocals manages to add to the overall instrumental theme of the album. The fourth track, “An Echo In,” is built around fuzzy synthesizer tones poppy enough to keep one’s heart racing, while juxtaposed with Prekop cooing sleepy vocals into the ear of his summer love.
The final three tracks are remixes of “Tea and Cake,” “Interiors” and “Hotel Tell” from their January release, One Bedroom. The remastered tracks keep the harmonious flow of the rest of this delicately crafted album but offer a new sound that strays from their earlier work. Overall, the Sea and Cake is a band with an experimental sound worth checking out, whether one is a T-shirt-wearing devotee or not. This album offers something for anyone in search of the essence of a perfect background mix.
[Kami Shallenberger gets major points for listening to rambling stories about the rare pink sapphire.]