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Sea Wolf originally was the stage name for singer-songwriter Alex Church Brown, and was his step away from his original band Irving' which was due to many of the songs he was writing were no longer fitting to Irving’s style. So Church began performing as Sea Wolf with a constantly rotating ensemble of backing musicians, playing locally in California and recording demos in Seattle. Signing to Dangerbird Records in 2007, Sea Wolf released an EP called 'Get To The River Before It Runs To Low' and now its time for their debut album 'Leaves in The River' to be released in the UK. Church currently plays with Lisa Fendelander (Keyboards), Theodore Liscinski (Bass), Catherine Odell (Cello), Scott McPherson (Drums) and Aaron Robinson (Guitar).


The album tells cryptic tales of gypsies and low rivers, of wolves and wandering men, with warm vocals over detailed arrangements. First-person narratives are entwined with mystic imagery and displaced confessionals, as this troubadour guides us through ornate musical territory. Seattle producer, Phil Ek known for his work with The Shins and Band of Horses, helped accelerate Church's goals for his project. Jacquire king who has previously mixed records by Tom Waits and Kings of Leon also lent hand and added a new element to the compositions.


'Leaves in the River' has a gentle opening, with sounds that are Celtic and mystical, and a resemblance to Sigur Ros, which then moves into a beautiful folk melody with acoustic guitar, Church's stunning vocal and the instrumentation builds up with tinkly piano and simple percussion. Church's vocal has.phpects of Chris Martin and Romeo Stobart as he sings "...I saw her blush when I asked/If she always talked like that/She said it only happened when she drank..". The song consists of ten short verses none of which repeat, this is typical of Church's fable telling songwriting. 'Winter Window' has a very Spanish folk sounding intro and moves into a funky beat, the song you would expect senoritas to be dancing too. The cello and guitars weave over the steady drums, and as the chorus breaks out the sounds of claps and melodica echoes as Church sings "...I thought I love you and our love would be forever/How could I hit you, the only one who ever loved me?"/Said the man, said the man to his shadow...".


'You're a Wolf' brings you back to that Coldplay sound, with similar vocal and musical arrangement. This track gave them the success they needed in the US, when it was originally released on there EP. Its a track that can often be heard playing on Colin Murray and Gideon Coe's Radio shows here in the UK. The song is more commercial, with its insistent guitar creating a wonderful atmosphere for the menacing cello to play over. 'You're a Wolf' shows the relationship between Ek, King and Church with comparisons to both the Shins and Kings of Leon in certain.phpects of the general mixing of the song. 'The Cold, The Dark & The Silence' has a sombre core and the sentimental track utilises gentle pulsing beats, tricking you into seeing a poppy side to it. The lyrics are quiet, and follow less of the previous fable telling but are snappy and catchy "... When the cold, the dark, and the silence come/it's like a sudden rush of water through your heart and lungs..." The Closing track is calming, ethereal and has gentle haunting sounds. 'Neutral Ground' shows Church's vocal at its best, stripped back as it melts into this luscious lullaby.


Sea Wolf are a band who shine when it comes to subtle beats and rhythms, the sound is minimal in places but has full effect on each listening. With a mixture of profound and poetic lyrics, Sea Wolf have something special to offer. Sea Wolf took its name from Jack London’s book which allows you to understand the sense of what the band is about, nomadically-minded. The sense of nature is present through most of Church's songwriting and then framed in outstanding instrumentation from his talented band. 'Leaves in The River' is a joy to listen to from start to finish.

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