Earlier this year I went on a whim to see The Sea & Cake at The Annandale Hotel knowing that many of my friends could not get over the whimsy and whispy nature of their music. Over that time, I slowly learned a bit more about them over time and was kind of surprised that this outfit was a supergroup of sorts (although consider that they took three months to churn this album out after their tour of Australia, you wouldn’t think that).
The Sea and Cake has previously disbursed after releases to focus on many of the band members individual pursuits – Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt’s solo projects and musical outings, John McEntire’s work with Tortoise (and subsequent solo work as well) and Eric Claridge’s painting endeavours. They be busy boys this lot. It’s very surprising then to hear that the quality of the tunes are very much maintained on Car Alarm and that demanding tour circuit has not claimed another victim.
It has the nice, crisp sound which is fairly evident and fans would be quite used to. Tracks like Window Sills and Pages have this spacial air about them when listened to, however they mix it up with the jaunty title track as well as a slight indie-disco* bent on Weekend. Sam Prekop’s voice works in a motion through these many different rhythms in this album with relative ease.
There are elements of fresh windy lightness as well as a kind of nice musical flow on Car Alarm which is sometimes hard to make feasibly likable on guitar based records. It was strange reviewing this CD in the cloudy darkness of Sydney this Saturday night, as it really is a perfect for the sunny Sunday arvo. Oh well, I’ll just be content with Mother Nature not being able to determine the perfect weather settings for us music reviewers.
* Yeah I know, “indie-disco” is a really crap merging of two words to describe a music track but really it was the only term that I could think of for the track.