Sea Pinks – Soft Days

0006266989_10Rating: ★★★★☆

Belfast’s Sea Pinks have become a staple in my listening catalogue over the past few years; its strange to think that a band who has only been around for six years has already been so profoundly prolific, but it seems that releasing a solid LP almost every year is just the way Sea Pinks roll. Soft Days is the latest of these stunning releases, and while more subdued and grounded jangly rock, the band finds yet another way to hook you and keep you interested.

This tightening up can be felt from the albums initiation. Opening number, (I Dont Feel Like) Giving In, begins slowly and with a bit of drama: some small guitar and soft building drums light up the path for a good minute of the track before the band launches in with those cutting guitar riffs and the vocals of Neil Brogan. The guitars are bleached out surf jangle to a T, interchanging with a bit of distortion on the chorus for a perfect pop arch. Immediately, youll notice the shift in focus from those orchestral elements that the band employed in the past, to the dueling guitars and their ceaseless jangle. At the end of the first number, you get the feeling that whats to come will be great.

And this intuition isnt wrong; Sea Pinks trade off track after track of spunky jangle pop with more subdued tunes, but its all beachy and lovely. Of course you have stunning singles that fulfill your rock and roll needs like Depth of Field and Yr Horoscope. The former employs the luke-warm vocals of Brogan and pushes them to a new height on the chorus, and the latter reminds me a bit of The Vaccines with its quick lipped lyrics and staccato drums. These bright flamed singles are balanced nicely with slower burning tracks like Green With Envy and I Wont Let Go, on which the guitar riffs meander more than shred, reminding you of beachy sunsets with a cool sea breeze coming off the water.

Soft Days is an album that you wont tire of easily. You will reach its end and feel ready to jump right back to the beginningit has the proper amount of catchy singles and deeper cuts to keep you interested. I will be spinning this one through the seasons for sure.


Don’t Miss This Sea Pinks Video

seapinkysSure, we hit up this dreamy new song from Sea Pinks a few weeks ago, but we wanted to remind you of its greatness by way of this video the band just released over the holiday break. It’s interesting, as the band is playing behind some psychedelic washes on the wall, which seems to be a little different than the feel of the track. But, it’s still a solid performance video, hopefully hipping folks to the band’s sound prior to the release of their new record, Soft Days, which hits January 8th via CF Records.



Sea Pinks Return!

seapinkysWe’ve been fans of Belfast’s Sea Pinks for a while now, so it’s always good news to hear new tunes from the band, as well as delight in the pleasure of looking forward to a new album on the horizon. This fresh track, “Depth of Field,” reminds you just why you fell in love with Sea Pinks in the first place, or why you should be falling in love with them right now. The guitars are tight and have just the right amount of jangle on them, like a crisp autumn breeze, while the warm vocals feel like sunshine– there’s a beautiful balance to this song that shouldn’t be overlooked. Be sure to check out Soft Days, the band’s upcoming LP, out January 8th via CF Records.

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Stream the New 7″ from Autumns

blondeAutumns find their home on one of my favorite micro-labels, CF Records; it’s home to Sea Pinks, if that says anything.  The Derry band have this dark post-punk, though they don’t seem entirely infatuated with your typical swirl of reverb and atmospherics. The vocals do seem to be hidden beneath the mix, in an intoxicating manner that creates a brooding sensation; it gives several of the tunes an old-school feeling you’re like to enjoy.  If I had to pick a favorite from the 4 songs presented below, I think the opening number “Je Vous Etre” is definitely the stunner, though the rest all has something to offer.

Top 50 Albums of 2014

TOP 50 ALB 14These lists are everywhere, so you’ll be excused if you just roll your eyes and skip on. But, that being said, we always seem to be way off the mark when it comes to our Top 50 Albums of the Year.  Sure, we have some of the sure fire hits on this list like Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, but don’t even read on if you’re look ing to see where Run the Jewels made it…they’re not there. Sorry not sorry.  So, if you’re into arbitrary lists by people who like to push their own agenda, then this list is for you! Read more

Sea Pinks – Dreaming Tracks

SPRating: ★★★★½

Sea Pinks are a group from Belfast, whose Bandcamp page touts that they got their start by being “inspired by sea glass, bleached grass and ghost guitars.” That being said, their catalogue, including their incredible most recent full length Freak Waves, adheres to these stimuli. This time around, the band has come out and said it— it’s no coincidence that Dreaming Tracks is called just that.

“Dream Happening” is a killer way to open the album, let alone an album called Dreaming Tracks. There’s this moment of suspense before the band starts with a long drawn out note, and in this brief space that somehow seems like it lasts forever, you are dying, waiting for the band to kick off and get going. When they begin, its like a bath of warmth and light- the guitars are springy and bounce through the tune, while the vocals mirror this effect. The drums are easy, popping along in the background, giving you the perfect head bobbing little rock jam. Here is a wonderful way to begin.

There are some noticeable differences from last go round, mostly in the production of the sound. It seems like there is a clearer quality in this recording—they’ve cut the little bit of fuzz on the guitars and vocals, which makes this album lean more towards the outright jangly rock genre and less so in the camp of garage rock. However, it’s not completely gone from the fuzz, but rather Dreaming Tracks takes things to the detached garage level of jangly rock. This shift is apparent on “Waiting For You (To Go),” in which the guitars cleanly flit and flirt in and out of the percussion, vocals and more cello (who doesn’t love any kind of strings in indie rock?). There’s a certain clean tightness to the guitar work, especially in the breakdown at the end of the track and the freshness does the band good on this album to prevent a replica of their past record.

It’s also very important that the presence of the cello in a lot of the tracks gets noted—simply put that cello pulls me right back in each time I start to wander in the guitar riffs. Take beauty and end track “Invisible Lines” for example, in which the breaks for the string work gives the track an elegance that is totally unexpected for this genre. And yet, it works so well, not only with the jingle jangle, but with deep cutting lyrics as well; the last line of the song is “You’re in the prime of your life/you’re in the dreamtime between worlds.” It’s these little touches that remind you that you’re listening to damn well crafted music here.

Honestly, Sea Pinks can do no wrong by my ears—these last two albums have been spectacular collections of deeply interesting, as well as enjoyable songs. What are you doing still reading this review when you could be jamming? Go listen! GO!


The Sea Pinks Return

seaMan. This track just made my day.  I absolutely adore the Sea Pinks, though it’s always hard to get their wares over here in the States.  But, they just announced that they’ll be releasing a new album, Dreaming Tracks, which is sure to make my arbitrary end of year list.  I love the jangling guitar, though I’ll admit those chords have a slightly darker tone on this listen.  It’s like meeting your favorite jangle pop band playing in a pub with their best friends, so maybe let’s call it jangle pub.  Regardless, look for that new album on September 29th via CF Records…you’ll be grateful.

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Brand New Music from Sea Pinks

seapinksHave I mentioned lately how much I love Sea Pinks?  The group first came to my attention a few years ago with their relationship to Girls Names, but since that discovery they’ve released two incredible LPs, Freak Waves and Dead Seas.  Today I bring you a brand new single that you’ll definitely have to sink your teeth into.  Much like Freak Waves, the vocals are up in the mix, which really does make the group all the more exciting; it allows for the natural vibe and bounce of the group to make way to your eardrums.  They’ll be releasing this track on a new 7″ via the band’s label, CF Records.  This totally made my week worth it.

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New Jam from the Sea Pinks

seapinksLast year’s Freak Waves was one of my top albums of the year; it was such a joy that I still listen to it on a regular weekly basis.  Well, Sea Pinks are back with a brand new single for your ears, and this one will hopefully promise more great songs to come! The guitar still jangles, but it’s not as prominent this round; I feel as if the tonal quality of the guitar itself is actually a bit darker.  Of course, the lyrics are perfect, with a chorus you can sing to yourself while you’re jamming on the highway.  Support the band and go check out their BANDCAMP where you can grab their previous works and this single!


Download: Sea Pinks – Magpies Eyes [MP3]

ATH & SXSW: 3 to Watch Part 4.

sxsw-&-athSo close! Yet we’re so far away.  Okay, not really…SXSW is officially upon us, and shows are sprouting up all over the place.  Personally, I’m freaking out.  So many incredible bands that I want to see for the first time, and so many more that I would gladly see a hundred times over.  Here’s a list of a few acts that I haven’t actually caught yet, so I’ll be seeing them for the first time…SXSW is the first time to lose your band cherry. Read more

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