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Sea Wolf

Get to the River Before it Runs Too Low

(Dangerbird; US: 8 May 2007; UK: Unavailable)

A singer and songwriter with L.A. band Irving, Alex Church goes by Sea Wolf when recording solo. With a little help from some friends, he has put together a fine debut EP, Get to the River Before it Runs Too Low. Like Elliott Smith, Sea Wolf’s music is indie folk at its heart, but stretches out into melancholic guitar pop when it wants to. Opener “You’re a Wolf” begins with chiming Britpop guitar, before a warm, low cello comes in to hypnotize us. The track is a simmering beauty. “The Garden that You Planted” is even more low-key and uses some pretty string arrangements to nice effect. “I Made a Resolution” and “Ses Monuments” have crisp song structures, and the latter offers some especially rewarding moments. “I Don’t Know if I’ll Be Back in Time” closes the CD with a wistful pump organ dirge. Church’s voice won’t reach out and grab you, but it does have a warm and tuneful appeal. Let’s hope we get more of the same from Sea Wolf on their coming full-length debut.

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Michael Keefe is a freelance music journalist, an independent bookstore publicist, and a singer/guitarist/songwriter in a band. Raised on a record collection of The Beatles, Coltrane, Mozart, and Ravi Shankar, Michael has been a slave to music his whole life. At age 16, he got a drum set and a job at a record store, and he's been playing and peddling music ever since. Today, he lives in Oregon with his wife (also a writer, but not about music), two cats, and a whole lot of instruments and CDs.


Tagged as: alex church | irving | sea wolf
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