screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: Alex Brown Church

Sea Wolf’s Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke

A wondrous and magical gift for their fans

Sea Wolf's Alex Brown Church - photo by Mia Kirby

Sea Wolf's Alex Brown Church - photo by Mia Kirby

Just released from Los Angeles’ own Sea Wolf is the most eloquent and breathlessly beautiful of thank yous. Song Spells, No. 1: Cedarsmoke is a softly spoken, delicately woven, intimate and deeply personal masterpiece. They experimented with a faster, experimental approach to recording which has resulted in a simply gorgeous waking dream that feels like you’re sitting in a friend’s living room with the band gathered round playing for everyone. I’m tempted to say that every album from this point forth should be recorded in this way. This is rich acoustic and subtle electronic music elegantly intertwined but simply captured, with Alex Brown Church’s warm guitar tones and vocals front and center, accentuated perfectly by the music. Strings, percussion, acoustic guitar and voice all blend organically, interwoven in the magic of what feels like and probably is a live full band recording. That is not to say it’s simplistic, anything but, though the layering of instruments is very cleanly presented with each melody distinctly clear and shining brightly.

This lovely work is the first in a series of limited edition albums that are being made available on Spotify and other streaming services and on the band’s website as a pay-what-you-want download. Fans were able to contribute early on to a Kickstarter campaign for various “rewards” that included physical copies in a limited edition (500) vinyl or CD release. Church plans to continue these very special releases, which he’ll record between official album releases. For Song Spells, fellow band members Joey Ficken, Lisa Fendelander and Scott Leahy contributed, recording in Church’s home studio. He did all the recording, mixing and production himself. All I can say is… bands take note!

Their previous albums are Leaves In The River, White Water, White Bloom and Old World Romance — all consistently stunning. Of the new album, Church explains, “The word ‘spell’ can refer to a magical spell or a period of time. I wrote and recorded it in a four-month period to force myself to go with first instincts and let go of the need to get things perfect. It was done for fun, with no commercial expectations from a label, something to share with our fans until we make our next ‘official’ album. We’re basically giving it away as a thank you to the people that have supported us.” Nice.

Sea Wolf will spend the rest of this year working on their next official album, with a month-long break in the fall for a European tour. However, for those fortunate enough to live in Los Angeles (yes, I say that a lot on this blog), they’ll be performing as a 3-piece at a very special show on Wednesday, July 23, at The Sayers Club. Also on the bill is Rare Times and White Rainbow. The show is sponsored by Red Bull Sound Select and KCRW. RSVP for $3 tickets.

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Sea Wolf (Alex Brown Church) Solo Acoustic Tour – and new “stripped-down” album

Los Angeles-based Sea Wolf has been a favorite since 2008, and I’ve written about them often, attempting to keep up with their exploits. Back in September, they embarked on a Kickstarter campaign so they could record a special limited release “experimental stripped-down album.” Having exceeded their goal, they’re now set to release this recording.

Alex Brown Church will be performing intimate solo acoustic performances in several cities across the U.S. He’ll be playing acoustic versions of songs from the entire Sea Wolf catalog, from Leaves In The River (2007) through White Water, White Bloom (2009) and his latest album, Old World Romance (2012).

Yeah, I missed this. Hopefully they’ll have some copies of the album at the shows.

The tour begins *tonight* in Los Angeles, at the Masonic Lodge, with a “stripped down” album release party. This one show will also feature bandmates Lisa and Scott. You can listen to a little taste of this project, “Bergamot Morning,” on the Kickstarter page.

If you’re in or around NYC, Jukely is currently running a VIP table giveaway contest for for 4 to ABC’s solo acoustic show at (le) poisson rouge in New York on Feb 14th.

Upcoming shows

Jan 11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Masonic Lodge# (‘Stripped-down’ Album Release Party)
Jan 15 – Orlando, FL @ The Social*
Jan 16 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits*
Jan 17 – Atlanta, GA @ Eddie’s Attic*
Jan 18 – Nashville, TN @ The High Watt*
Feb 12 – Baltimore, MD @ Metro Gallery*
Feb 13 – Wilmington, DE @ World Cafe Live at the Queen*
Feb 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe*
Feb 15 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge*
Feb 16 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall*
Feb 17 – Hamden, CT @ Spaceland Ballroom*
Feb 20 – Houston, TX @ Fitzgerald’s
Feb 21 – Austin, TX @ Lambert’s
Feb 22 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links
Feb 23 – Little Rock, AR @ Juanita’s

* solo acoustic
# special ‘stripped down’ set with Lisa and Scott

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Sea Wolf’s Spring Tour (Brighton Music Hall Friday 6/7)

I was first captivated by Alex Brown Church and Sea Wolf when I heard their wonderfully warm and melodic EP, Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low, their 2007 debut full length, Leaves In The River and its follow-up in 2009, White Water White Bloom. Gentle and flowing like their namesakes, the personal storytelling in these recordings pulls you right in.

In September of last year, Sea Wolf released Old World Romance. Once again true to its name, there’s an elegance and timelessness in their music, with lush strings and Church’s soulful vocals.. Enjoy this loveliness in an intimate setting as they make their way East to West this Spring. And for now, enjoy a stripped-down acoustic version of “Miracle Cure,” from Old World Romance.

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf

Sea Wolf Tour

Jun 05 Sundown Music Series (Presented by WXPN), Haddon Heights, NJ – FREE
Jun 06 Valentines Music Hall w/ Savoir Adore, Albany, NY
Jun 07 Brighton Music Hall w/ Savoir Adore, Allston, MA
Jun 08 Bowery Ballroom w/Savoir Adore, New York, NY
Jun 09 Rock and Roll Hotel w/ Savoir Adore, Washington, DC

From there, it’s on to the South, then Texas, Arizona and back to California, with a date at the El Rey Theatre with Savoir Adore, presented by KCRW. For details, see their website.

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Show Preview: The Album Leaf, Sea Wolf ~ the Paradise Rock Club ~ Friday, April 30, 2010

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf (photo by Mia Kirby); The Album Leaf

Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf (photo by Mia Kirby); The Album Leaf

The Album Leaf, Sea Wolf at the Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA
Friday, April 30 | doors at 8pm, 18+ show

For those who enjoy rich musical tapestries; some folky and warm, others dreamy and synth-driven ethereal, here’s a really nice evening for you.

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