This was my first exposure to Alex Brown Church's Sea Wolf project and I came on board at the perfect time as he released his finest album so far with Old World Romance. It takes the #5 spot in my Best Albums of 2012 list. My original review is below.
Favorite tracks: "Whirlpool", "Dear Fellow Traveler", "Old Friend", "Priscilla"
The brain child of Alex Brown Church, Sea Wolf is a Los Angeles based band who have seen a number of members come and go in their short time. Church originally used a number of backing musicians to help tour the project, but Sea Wolf has somewhat settled into its current six member line-up. It is still Church's project in the studio first and foremost as he sings and writes all the material as well as handling multiple instruments.
Old World Romance is the third Sea Wolf full length and it couldn't have been released at a better time. Talk about a perfect album for the fall. Awash in gorgeous melodies and harmonies, it is 37 minutes of bliss. Sure, you wish something this good was longer, but there is still something to be said for an album that is concise, with no filler, perfection from start to finish. Church's music is essentially indie rock which touches on elements of pop and folk, laden with lovely strings.
"Old Friend" starts things off with a lone drum beat before the acoustic guitar comes in and Church's vocal mixes the somber with the uplifting. "In Nothing" has rumbling drum beats and is one of the more rollicking tracks here, but every song has its own moments of beauty, here it is the cello work of Joyce Lee. There are simply too many 'to die for' harmonies and choruses on this album, "Priscilla" being a shining example, as is the stunning album closer "Whirlpool". "Dear Fellow Traveler" is another personal favorite, the cadence of the verses offset by the dreamy chorus.
Anytime I start to feel overwhelmed about maintaining this blog, an album like this comes along that makes the time and effort to search out new music worth it. Albums like Old World Romance are why I sift through each week's new releases, to find the gems buried within the incredible amount of music that gets released. Sea Wolf are headed for my Best of 2012 list easily. A fantastic album.
Old World Romance was released September 11, 2012 on Dangerbird Records.