Sea Wolf consists of an ever-revolving cast of players from the LA music scene always fronted by Alex Brown Church. Friday evening's show at the Echoplex showcased a number of local LA bands in conjunction with ASCAP and the Silver Lake Film Festival, including the Bird and the Bee, the Little Ones and my personal favorite, Sea Wolf. Mr. Church took the stage backed by five other band members, one of which I immediately recognized as the drummer from local band, Tigers Can Bite You. Alex secured his place behind the microphone with an overwhelmingly friendly affect and soft demeanor bearing a soft red flannel shirt rolled up to the elbows.
The set kicked off with soft cello began to build from the strings up. Each song is filled with a soundscape of warm guitar, bass, accordion-like keyboards and beautiful cello. Sea Wolf's sound conjures a number of musical references, sometimes feeling Wilco-like, sometimes evoking sounds of a happier Ryan Adams, a less gruff Johnny Cash, a more abrupt Conor Oberst. Depending on the song you can pick out Elliot Smith type melodies or pin-point moments that sound reminiscent of other singer/songwriter's, but as a whole Sea Wolf is its own breed of songwriting that somehow manages to make even the bleakest lyrics sound hopeful and upbeat.
To be honest, when listening to the EP due out tomorrow, Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low, I was instantly interested in checking them out live but not one hundred percent sold on them as being a wholly original "band to watch" type entity. After the performance they put on Friday night, I can't wait to see where Sea Wolf will be a year from now. With a full album in the works for next fall, Sea Wolf puts another shiny gold star onto Dangerbird Records' roster and adds huge cred to the LA music scene. Check them out on one of their following dates including a May 11th date at Union Hall in Brooklyn.