WEEK ONE :: PHOTO GALLERY + MP3
WEEK TWO :: VIDEOS
Release Date: 10.23.07
Some albums are immediate favorites, while others sneak up on you from behind and catch you off guard. This happened to be the case of Seabear's full length, The Ghost That Carried Us Away. In contrast to fellow Icelandic acts Sigur Ros and the always-prolific Bjork, the music of Seabear is much simpler, replacing elaborate soundscapes and earth shaking vocals with warm music that comes across as warm and friendly. While a few of the other Icelandic artists scare me just a bit, I would gladly invite the seven members of Seabear over to my house for a game night.
Seabear began as the project of one man, Sindri Mar Sigfusson. As his live performances began to require the help of fellow musicians, they ended up as permanent members, making Seabear a true band. Even being seven members strong, the music remains gentle, making for some of the best folk-pop you'll ever hear. The subject matter fits their sound perfectly, focusing on love and loss, coming across like that state of mind you find yourself in as you float between being awake and drifting off to sleep.
"Cat Piano" brings bits of Belle & Sebastian and Kings Of Convenience to mind, while the somewhat upbeat "Libraries" makes me think of the less bombastic tracks from Arcade Fire. A personal favorite is "Hospital Bed," beginning with a bit of doo-wap backing vocals that bounce along with the plucking of strings and a violin melody. The instrumentation never takes away from the hushed vocals of Sigfusson, rather supporting them perfectly.
Some of the more well known artists from Iceland have given the perception that music from their country is deep and eclectic. Seabear proves that Simon & Garfunkel-eque folk melodies can come from the land of the Sugarcubes and Mum as well. The Ghost That Carried Us Away is a simply beautiful album, perfect for the upcoming grey days of winter. This album should be on many more best of 2007 lists than it probably will be.
MP3 Download - "I Sing I Swim"