It would be extremely easy to come across this band, lumping them in as thieves of the popular instrumental music scence, yet that approach to this album would be a coward’s way out.
Sure, the self titled album from The Calm Blue Sea is filled to the brim of your stereo with sprawling guitar sounds that walk the thinnest lines back and forth between songs, almost as if the guitars intend to pace back and forth.
One element that sets them apart, and I know others use it, but I think the usage of the piano as the skeletal background for a good deal of the songs places a different spin on the entire album as a piece. It coats the instrumental core of the album with a melodious undertone; listen carefully for the treasures in this genre always rely upon close listening.
Another difference lies in the fact that they occasioanly use lyrics, predominantly in the song “Literal.” It’s usage here recalls, to these ears at least, the atmospheric sounds of Statistics. It creates an entirely different layer to the song, which is encouraging because various bands get trapped beneath the singular layers created by guitars and drums; The Calm Blue Sea uses vocals as a textural layer–admirable.
While other bands simply rely upon the ebbs and flows of their albums, withholding the more rocking elements for their live show, The Calm Blue Sea unleash these heavier moments upon us with joy, creating a beautiful cacophony of atmospheric noise. It’s great to see that there are new bands still trying to put their own spin on an age-old tradition.