Car Alarm (Bonus Track Version) by The Sea and Cake on Apple Music

14 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Not for headbangers, alt-rockers, or any distant cousins, The Sea and Cake makes grown-up pop music and like other streamlined, low-key indie-rockers (think the Shins, or Noah and the Whale), TS&C’s music feels effortless — pure and unfettered by modern distractions and trappings. The end result is a sly, engaging blend of sophisticated yet uncomplicated jazz structures and layers of breezy pop instrumentation. Sam Prekop’s breathy, casual voice veers from being oddly seductive to just plain pleasant, and it all feels as good as playing hooky at the beach. The sublime, yet tightly controlled, interplay between Prekop’s and Archer Prewitt’s guitars is quite grand, especially on the quietly rocking  “Ariel,” the faintly schizo “New Schools,” and the propulsive, energetic “Car Alarm,” but you almost don’t notice; the band employ both humility and understatement, which is one reason they’re so darn likeable. They just do what they do, and it usually results in finely crafted music that is criminally underrated and under-appreciated. It’s not all guitar love, either: gurgling synths sprinkle a little magic into tracks like the playful “CMS Sequence” and “Weekend,” and twinkling steel drums and piano shine on “Mirrors.” The last two tracks here are bonus tracks. Satisfied newbies should seek out two bands that sprouted TS&C, Shrimp Boat and the Coctails.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Not for headbangers, alt-rockers, or any distant cousins, The Sea and Cake makes grown-up pop music and like other streamlined, low-key indie-rockers (think the Shins, or Noah and the Whale), TS&C’s music feels effortless — pure and unfettered by modern distractions and trappings. The end result is a sly, engaging blend of sophisticated yet uncomplicated jazz structures and layers of breezy pop instrumentation. Sam Prekop’s breathy, casual voice veers from being oddly seductive to just plain pleasant, and it all feels as good as playing hooky at the beach. The sublime, yet tightly controlled, interplay between Prekop’s and Archer Prewitt’s guitars is quite grand, especially on the quietly rocking  “Ariel,” the faintly schizo “New Schools,” and the propulsive, energetic “Car Alarm,” but you almost don’t notice; the band employ both humility and understatement, which is one reason they’re so darn likeable. They just do what they do, and it usually results in finely crafted music that is criminally underrated and under-appreciated. It’s not all guitar love, either: gurgling synths sprinkle a little magic into tracks like the playful “CMS Sequence” and “Weekend,” and twinkling steel drums and piano shine on “Mirrors.” The last two tracks here are bonus tracks. Satisfied newbies should seek out two bands that sprouted TS&C, Shrimp Boat and the Coctails.

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4:08
3:45
1:06
3:16
2:42
3:33
3:43
3:25
3:58
2:59
1:37
13 2:58
3:39

About The Sea and Cake

The Sea and Cake are a post-rock supergroup of sorts, comprised of luminaries from the Chicago independent scene. The band is led by singer/guitarist Sam Prekop, who, along with bassist Eric Claridge, was an alumnus of the frequently brilliant Shrimp Boat. After that group's dissolution, Prekop and Claridge were offered the opportunity to embark on a new project and hastily recruited ex-Coctails guitarist Archer Prewitt and Tortoise drummer John McEntire before entering the studio. Originally intended as a one-off project, the musicians decided to continue performing together, and after selecting the name the Sea and Cake -- derived from McEntire's misinterpretation of the Gastr del Sol song "The C in Cake" -- they issued their eponymous 1994 debut, an enigmatic collection highlighting Prekop's stream-of-consciousness wordplay and singular fusion of pop, jazz, blue-eyed soul, and Krautrock styles.

In 1995, the group returned with two more LPs, the intricate Nassau and the shimmering The Biz. After the release of The Fawn in 1997, the band took a break while both Prewitt and Prekop released solo albums. Finally, in 2000, the Sea and Cake released their fifth album, Oui, followed three years later by the delivery of their most elegant album yet, One Bedroom. By this point, the group's repertoire had swelled to include African-inspired riffs, Brazilian influences, and guitar-based indie pop, and they hit a wellspring of creativity as the decade wound to a close. Everybody and Car Alarm were released in quick succession, with Everybody appearing in 2007 and Car Alarm arriving in 2008. An EP, The Moonlight Butterfly, followed in 2011, as did a round of recording sessions for the band's tenth studio album. The results, Runner, appeared in September 2012. ~ Jason Ankeny

  • ORIGIN
    Chicago, IL
  • FORMED
    1993

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