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High Seas

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Album Review

With one of music's most distinct drawls, Melissa Swingle gives Trailer Bride an advantage over many of the quartet's alt-country contemporaries. The Chapel Hill, NC-based band may play sultry, setting-sun two-steps and ballads with the best of 'em, but it's Swingle's dry and hypnotic voice that makes the band's High Seas so utterly compelling and original. As she plods through creepy-crawly moments in songs about Mae West's ghost, dancing outlaws, and rough 'n' tumble seas, the guitarist/banjo/saw player manages to sound bored with life without ever coming off as self-pitying or tear-in-my-beer depressed. Instead, each song sounds like Swingle is blankly taking inventory of her surroundings and her life as the days pass by. Still, there are moments where her emotions seep through the apathy. On the heart-aching "Bird Feet Feelings," for instance, she realizes that "Without love there's only heartbreak to follow." It's one of her — and her band's — finest moments to date, hinting at even more mesmerizing moments to come.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Chapel Hill, NC-based insurgent country band Trailer Bride was led by singer/songwriter Melissa Swingle, a onetime member of the all-female trio Pussy Teeth. Following that band's demise, Swingle switched from bass to guitar, began writing songs and formed Trailer Bride in 1993 with upright bassist Daryl White. Following a succession of drummers, Brad Goolsby joined the line-up, and with the addition of lead guitarist Bryon Settle, the roster was complete; in late 1996, Trailer Bride issued its self-titled...
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High Seas, Trailer Bride
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