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album obsession: sea bell

September 12, 2011
Sea Bell

Click here to download the Sea Bell album

I should probably just state my bias right now – this is my sister’s band. I should probably also state my other bias – I only write about albums that I really like, and I really like this album.

Sea Bell, the ten-member Indie-rock-funk-jam brigade from Eugene, Oregon has finally released their first (and last) album. After growing over the past few years into Eugene’s Buzz Band, the group has actually just broken up. But luckily they went the way of Blind Faith, leaving behind one stellar, eponymous, album before dissolution.

Those who were lucky enough to catch their live shows know what a killer group this really was. From a crowded stage they would launch headlong into blistering sets of their unique brand of Indie rock with an undeniably contagious energy. Their live prowess earned them the top spot in last year’s Bandest of the Bands competition in Eugene and put them in their rightful place as the local scene’s it-band.

But of course, nothing lasts forever (unless you’re The Rolling Stones) and the band played its final show a few weeks ago at the Eugene Celebration Festival. A fitting location for Sea Bell’s Last Stand – a celebration of the city that supported them so wholeheartedly.

So now we are left with this album: nine original songs that will be Sea Bell’s legacy. Their music is a modern Indie rock sound rooted in a variety of musical styles and backed by an assemblage of real talent. Listen for tight instrumentation, stirring harmonies, powerful lead vocals by Devin Brown and Leslie Robert, and driving percussion by my sister, Madi Becker.

It’s hard for me to pick any favorites, but definitely check out “Grima” the album’s single. You’ll be singing along with its infectious chorus in no time. It also features my sister’s banjo picking, and I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for a good banjo. The sweeping “Rainy Boys” gives a glimpse of Sea Bell’s affinity for combining modern sounds with  Americana flavors. And “Whisper Song” is a beautiful showcase for the sweet harmonies of Leslie Robert and Emily Jacob.

I can’t endorse this album enough. It’s more than worth the $10 it costs to download and while Sea Bell may no longer be with us, you can look forward to new collaborations from the band members, which I will certainly keep you apprised of here. Also, if you’d like a CD copy of the album please contact me directly and I can arrange shipment. I’ll leave you now with this video from Sea Bell’s last show, a cover of Fleet Foxes’ “Icicle Tusk” and their signature live original number “Buffalo.” Cheers to a wonderful group of music makers.

One Comment leave one →
  1. the mom permalink
    September 13, 2011 9:15 pm


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