To All Dead Sailors
Christian Kiefer and Jefferson Pitcher
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Both Christian Kiefer and Jefferson Pitcher have made their increasingly higher-profile marks in part through their many collaborations with likeminded musicians, and on To All Dead Sailors they bring that spirit together on a collection of original songs on themes of the sea and those who voyaged and perished on it. Images of Gordon Lightfoot singing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" may come to mind but while both performers have singer/songwriter roots, here they're mixed with the more experimental sonic elements that have increasingly characterized their work. Soft found-sound backgrounds and highly understated drones and textures flush out nearly every song's guitar (when used) and singer on any respective piece. The instrumentation often makes direct reference to those used in the sea shanties of the past — squeezeboxes, for instance — without letting them dominate or simply turn the album into a period piece. Pitcher's deeper and Kiefer's lighter vocals provide regular contrasts throughout, making their often striking and, understandably given the album's theme, sad images of disasters at sea, grieving survivors, and the mechanisms and rituals of past generations feel almost like a series of gentle documentaries. Standout tracks include "Marconi Brings the Cypher," Kiefer singing through a softly watery flange over gentle chimes and keyboards, and the dreamy "The Mermaid and the Drunks," one of two full songwriting collaborations between the two on the disc, with the combination of stark electric guitar and harmonizing suggesting the considerable best of the band Low.
A genuinely wonderful album, from some gifted musicians. Ethereal, haunting, emotive and lyrical. Highlights: the title track, Whistler Cove, Am the Icebreaker, Among the Things the Sea Throws Up, The Sea Will Give You Away.
I'm all for a concept album, but don't make me spend 10 dollars on listening to the same lyrics in every song. Great music, needs to polish up on his lyrics quite a bit.
Top Albums and Songs by Christian Kiefer and Jefferson Pitcher
||Burial At Sea||To All Dead Sailors||4:13||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Astrolabe||To All Dead Sailors||3:07||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||To All Dead Sailors||To All Dead Sailors||3:51||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Sea Will Give You Away||To All Dead Sailors||3:09||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Erendira and the Ocean||To All Dead Sailors||4:41||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||The Engineer's Dream||To All Dead Sailors||3:06||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Whistler Cove||To All Dead Sailors||2:25||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Am the Icebreaker||To All Dead Sailors||2:52||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Carpenters and Sailors||To All Dead Sailors||5:06||$0.99||View in iTunes|
||Ship Under Sand||To All Dead Sailors||2:53||$0.99||View in iTunes|