A lot has changed for The Sea the Sea since the release of their first album, Love We Are We Love in 2014. The debut album received high praise for its folk-acoustic basis that allowed the beautiful vocals of the original duo, what Huffington Post refers to as, “two of the loveliest male-female voices you might ever hear this or any other year,” to truly shine. The same praise is just as easily applicable to their sophomore album, From The Light, which certainly does not disappoint on the vocals. The band, originally an acoustic-folk duo act featuring Chuck and Mira Costa, has grown to now include Cara May Gorman on vocals and synthesizer, and Stephen Struss on drums and percussion.
This album stays true to their folk roots, but shows how their sound has matured by adding a whole new spectacular layer of production and instrumentation that serves not to hide, but compliments their stunning vocals even more. With the group’s introduction of reverb-heavy electric guitars, the dream-like production done by Troy Pohl, and by lacing almost every line with their signature harmonies, making every coming one as chillingly beautiful as the last, this album is a piece of art through and through, and is certainly a display of their musical growth as a group.
The opening track, “Everybody,” is the perfect invitation for the listener to enter this album. Opening with mesmerizing swirling sounds, as soon as the vocals join this dream sequence in stunning harmony, the song practically extends a hand connecting the musicians with the listener. The lyrics immediately dive into the album’s themes of the duality of human nature, accepting our differences, and fostering positivity times amidst hard times that the group explores. It addresses the inescapable human fallibility we all face as somebody in this population of “everybody.” The hypnotizing simplicity of the piece transforms as the sound thickens. Percussion is layered onto a quicker beat, and an electric guitar takes center stage before the song strips back down to it’s original simplicity. Without a hiccup, it then leads right into the next song, one of the notable singles off the album, “Bang Bang Bang.” “Everybody” is a stunning opener and preview of what is to come from the album. It shares the driving questions, has the dreamy production highlighted in other songs such as “All Go Right,” and hints at more upbeat songs like “Phototrophic.”
The title track, “From the Light,” takes it’s time building up, layering sound on top of sound, with the reverb allowing each to swim between your ears in anticipation for the next addition. Starting off with simple percussion and working it’s way into an explosion of instrumentation and vocals. The repeating lyrics circle back, creating a beautiful push and pull dynamic between good and bad, mimicking the tendency to sway back and forth between the two within human nature.
The ballad “Good for Something,” was inspired by Chuck’s grandfather’s often repeated mantra stated in the above quote, which is now immortalized within the lyrics of the song. The echoing melodic guitar and lyrics make this track a stand out song on the album and a happy ending to the story the album tells: focusing on the positive even in trying and confusing circumstances.
For as much as the sound itself is a breath of fresh air, so is the obvious social commentary throughout From the Light and the optimistic outlook it takes on recognizing that we are all human, but ultimately choosing to focus on the good in that.
The Upstate New York-local band will be kicking off their summer tour by giving New York State the pleasure of hosting their album release party. Presented by Guthrie Bell Productions, on June 1st at the Hollow Bar + Kitchen in Albany, NY, The Sea the Sea will be celebrating this incredible new album by performing it live. Click here to secure your ticket and get more information about the event.
Key Tracks: Everybody, Bang Bang Bang, Good for Something