The Morning Sea – Mal De Mer
As the album’s eponymously titled opening track unfurls, there are shades of Antlers in the air with moody and emotive vocals that draw the listener in like a siren’s call.
Mal De Mer shows a band that knows itself, with confidence and clarity. The sound is bold and self assured, with ‘Don’t Be Moronic, Merriam’ blustering with brass and a thundering bassline that takes elements of the Strokes and Augustines, shakes it up with a bit of Duke Special and we are left with something that sounds curiously familiar but feels exciting and fresh.
There are tracks that offer some real arena anthems – ‘Alexandra’ bristles with bravado, its brass swells lifting the song up to the sky, while ‘Dog Days’ offers a smokier, more restrained type of crowd pleaser.
There’s some real grit to be found on the record too. ‘Backburner Baby’ channels some vintage R.E.M. and Muse tones, all revved up and redesigned for the discerning modern listener.
It’s on the record’s closing track ‘The Cold & The Quiet’ that The Morning Sea gets the chance to really get their feet wet. A sprawling track that gives itself plenty of time to evolve, there’s evidence of a band with the potential to get ever more progressive and epic in their work.
Already a highlight of 2016.