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SEA WOLF – Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low

Dangerbird Records / Pinnacle Distribution, Release Date: 7th April 2008

Written by Louise Chappell

Despite sharing their name with a cold-war era attack submarine,

LA band Sea Wolf are as far from hard and aggressive as you could get. Their polished blend of gentle acoustics, rolling rhythm and soft melodic vocals follow in the footsteps of Ryan Adams and Bright Eyes. Reminiscent of Damien RIce, only less plaintive, Sea Wolf state their influences to be purely wolf-related. If X-man Wolverine had covered Leadbelly, I think it would maybe be their myspace favorite. Although similarities can be drawn to other artists, Sea Wolf are interesting and worth listening to. If you are a fan of the fore mentioned bands then you will definitely like this. Sea Wolf provide a new approach to tender acoustic indie-pop and revel in their sparkly type of musical melancholy.

Light percussion, atmospheric instrumentals and bitter-sweet lyrics create a subtle and intimate atmosphere. Even amidst the bustle of the magazine office, with music ed Christel’s big head phones on, I feel as though Alex Brown Church is singing just to me. Long cello notes and picking guitar sets the base for Church’s lamenting vocals. Sung with heartfelt longing and yet with resignation. Despite claiming to never write another sad song, this is what Sea Wolf do best. In fact, they are masters of the genre. The songs are by no means ‘happy’ but they are strangely uplifting.

The afternoon light streams in through the window and results in my conclusion that this would be perfect music for walking along to, headphones on, feeling good about the world. Or maybe listened to late night when you’re by yourself, volume turned down low. Maybe fix yourself a dry’n’rye, close your eyes and imagine you just stepped off the greyhound bus heading down some empty highway. I’m getting sentimental but these songs are sentimental to the core. Sweetly mellow but not saccharine. And coming from Los Angeles, a city famed for the superficial, Sea Wolf write songs that are emotive yet honest.

I might’ve heard something like this before, but for this category of music, Sea Wolf really does the do.

And anyway, can you ever really have enough sad songs?

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