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One Bedroom

by The Sea and Cake

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about

The Sea and Cake's sixth album, One Bedroom, is elegant pop. Membrane-like layers of electronic tones, delicate synthesizers surround intricately woven guitars. Melodic bass lines punctuate these restrained and complex sounds. Songs are propelled by imaginative percussion lines and shaped by spare warm vocals. Prekop’s lyrical style is poetic as opposed to narrative. Paradoxically, the resulting album of delicate precisely constructed songs sounds effortless. One Bedroom is a beautiful collection of creatively constructed and singular pop songs.

After Eight years, the Sea and Cake lineup remains the same: Sam Prekop (vocals and guitars), Erik Claridge (bass), John McEntire (drums), and Archer Prewitt (guitar). Their musical vocabulary is greatly expanded by their other artistic pursuits. Erik Claridge has been working on a solo album as well as his continuing painting/ illustration career, part of which is a regular insert in the Chicago Reader. Archer continues to create his Drawn and Quarterly produced Sof’ Boy comics. Prewitt additionally released a solo album entitled Three. John has engineered numerous records in his own Soma Studio including- One Bedroom. McEntire has also managed to make time to start recording a new Tortoise album as well as play a collaborative performance at the Thalia Theater with Ikue Mori and Zeena Parkins. Sam Prekop, with whom most songs originate, has had several painting shows including a solo show at Clementine Gallery in Chelsea. Prekop has also continued to pursue photography, it is his photo on the One Bedroom cover. The Sea and Cake is a group of active individuals whose experiences add to its vibrant palette of sounds, tones, and textures.

The opening song "Four Corners", the title track, and "Mr. F" are signature Sea and Cake tunes. Prewitt and Prekop’s guitar interplay, swirling synthesizers and the melodic propulsive rhythms of McEntire and Claridge all delicately surround Prekop’s buttery vocals. Lyrics seemingly float on a delicate cloud of sound. Vocals take center stage with "Left Side Clouded" and "Try nothing ". The former broken up by surprisingly distorted guitar whilst the latter one of the few elements of this powerfully simple song that was programmed and recorded by Prekop in his home studio. The rhythms of "Hotel Tell" and "Le Baron" showcase McEntire’s programming prowess with their inventive rhythms and surprising sound selections. It is not surprising to see such choice analog synthesizer tones driving the vocals which are brought far more forward on One Bedroom than previous Sea and Cake recordings. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the record comes in their version of Bowie’s "Sound and Vision." The band actually started toying with the song some five years ago as the song is a group favorite. The version remains faithful the original yet has the distinctive Sea and Cake stamp of creatively and precisely placed tone and color, delicate guitar touches, and driving rhythms. Prekop’s warm vocals are filled out by the baritone vocals of the Aluminum Group’s Navin brothers. The carefully constructed recording floats along seemingly without effort. In his lyrics Bowie asks listeners "Don’t you wonder sometimes about sound and vision"? Sound, vision, and envisioning a new Pop sound are the Focus of the Sea and Cake’s imagination and considerable musical skills. One Bedroom gracefully illustrates why The Sea and Cake stand quietly alone in pop currents.

credits

released January 21, 2003

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The Sea and Cake Chicago, Illinois

The Sea and Cake bridge the gap between Brazilian music of the late 1960's, African influenced guitar lines, and independent pop. A sound that is entirely distinct, centered around the delicate guitar interplay of Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt, driven by the versatile rhythms of bassist Eric Claridge and drummer John McEntire, and finally set apart by Prekop's vocals and obtuse lyrics. ... more

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