A-Side, New England combines slightly distorted acoustic guitar with a simple accordion melody and a whirling sounding theremin whistle, I keep almost hearing 'Oh Comely' about to break in.
'Oh Appalachia', takes that Neutral Milk Hotel raw melodic simplicity and adds a Magnetic Fields feel electronic pop complete with canned percussion and layers of melody as pure texture. Layers of emotive vocals, recorded in all kinds of environments plays against this mechanical pop structure and is immediately my favorite. It's swirling catchiness, the sometimes buried vocals are secondary to the hooks of melody they create. Neither of which evoke the Northern East coast necessarily in sound, but in spirit of idiosyncratic folk, the sheer volume of stunningly quiet sounds add up to an impressive cohesive whole.
Bearsuit, the last track features a phasered acoustic and a reverse string melody. It hits it's stride when it goes epic layered fuzz and pounding kick drum, keeping that vocal intimacy and home recorded greatness in the middle of the storm. All I can think of is that documentary about that guy who built the bear proof suit...'Never a man / he was never a man' his single mindedness to create this unconventional way of being protected. The challenge to be safe in the face of all of nature, in a unique kind of science that shouldn't be repeated. Seamonster is quietly piecing all kinds of modern sound into a cozy patchwork quilt of greatness.
The B-Side, 'The Philosophy of Andy Warhol' has more delicate electronics and reverse acoustic, the vocals are more direct on this one, more folk sounding and still somehow optimistic thanks to brief electronic phrases popping up, working with each other in unexpected ways that keep this and the entire EP, surprising in multiple listens.
'Annalee creates an unrecognizable percussion rhythm for all kinds of eclectic instrumentation, harpsichord, xylophone, soprano marching band toms, building into a psyche kind of pop, all recorded perfectly clear, but blending into inseparable haze. Sort of a 'The Charm of the Highway Strip' neo-folk narrative storytelling to keep on repeat.
Complete with a digital download of the EP and 6 bonus tracks! You're going to want to live with this in more than just the record room.
Format: 7-inch colored vinyl (opaque white)
Cover Design: Todd Webb
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Labels: Gold Robot Records (USA), Royal Rhino Flying Records (USA), and Martyrs of Pop (France)
This mini-album collects songs written and recorded by Adrian Todd Webb and friends in various tucked-away locales across Virginia over the course of three years. “Oh Appalachia,” is a fuzzed out surrealist poem against a backdrop of carnival noise and radio static echoing from the mountains, while “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol” is a gentle electro-pop call to calm based on journal entries of iconic artist Andy Warhol. Instrumental opener “New England” was recorded in a friend’s upstairs sewing room, “Bearsuit” when Webb lived in a laundry room in the slums, while “Annalee,” in which Webb’s vocals glide across churning beds of electro-folk psychedelia, was tracked in a haunted suburban bedroom not far from a giant trampoline.