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Runner (Bonus Track Version)

The Sea and Cake

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Album Review

The Sea and Cake are an ebb-and-flow group, often releasing albums in spurts and then going their separate ways — which, considering their array of side projects, is many different ways. After a multi-year rest following the late-2000s burst of Everybody and Car Alarm, the quartet returned to the studio again to produce a mini-LP, 2011's The Moonlight Butterfly, and then its full-album companion, 2012's Runner. Extending the aims and themes of the group's late renaissance, Runner is less a guitar album and more an electronics album, with songs that rest on fewer chord changes and more synth wash. The process used to write and record was also different, resulting in a (slightly) different album — although still unerringly the Sea and Cake. Vocalist and songwriter Sam Prekop wrote songs on synthesizer, then sent them around to other members for some reimagination before the usual process of recording and mixing began at drummer John McEntire's Soma Studios. The results are elegant and beautiful, as all Sea and Cake albums are, but also slightly experimental. There are fewer full-band moments here, and more space, easily seen in the way "A Mere" fades out in slow motion, gradually and sensuously.

Customer Reviews

What a great album!

When you think the cake may turn stale, just a subtle change in sound seems like a giant step forward, one of there best works!

Brilliant Sounds from Chi Town

This Chicago quartet is nothing but amazing. Solid work, some of their best and easiest in quite some time.

Drifting away on a wave of sound.

The Sea and Cake treat us yet again to their brilliantly layered music that has continually built off of, what I feel created their signature sound, their 1997 album The Fawn. Unlike the iTunes reviewer, I rather believe that the guitar work is indeed in the thick of it, and to say that there's more space being explored here is somewhat short sighting their entire body of work, which has always tapped into experimental spatial composition (some songs more so than on this album!). You always know when you are hearing a The Sea and Cake tune, but I think it's fantastic that after all of these years, they always find a way to keep things fresh and diverge just enough to keep things wonderfully interesting. Great stuff!


Formed: 1993 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
Full Bio

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