Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Up On The North Shore” by The Sea and Cake from their 2011 album The Moonlight Butterfly on Thrill Jockey.
The Sea and Cake are one of the few early-to-mid 90s indie bands still alive and kicking and releasing albums as we enter the second decade of the new millennium. Not only are they still together, but they haven’t really seen any extended breaks aside from in the late 90s when lead man Sam Prekop and guitarist Archer Prewitt branched off to release solo albums. Even then, though, the band didn’t take more than three years in between the release of 1997’s The Fall and 2000’s Oui. Now, in 2011, the band is back with The Moonlight Butterfly, their 9th studio album, all of which have been released on Chicago-based label Thrill Jockey (The Sea and Cake are also from Chicago).
Sam Prekop and company took the name The Sea and Cake from a misinterpretation of the Gastyr del Sol song “The C in Cake,” but, oddly, the band’s lush, airy melodious instrumentation combine with the blissful nonchalance of Prekop’s vocals to bring to mind…well…some pleasing combination of sea and cake. It almost seems as if their sound has grown into these associations as their career has progressed, and The Moonlight Butterfly is no exception. Though just over thirty minutes in length, the album is smooth, melodious, and exceptionally easy to listen to, bringing to mind The Clientele, a band that could easily have been influenced by The Sea and Cake. The defining element of this accessibility is Prekop’s wispy, weightless vocals that could practically put you to bed. Just have a listen to today’s featured song, “Up On The North Shore,” to see what I mean.
The Sea and Cake are not currently touring and don’t appear to be in the near future aside from a date in Chicago later this month. Check back with the band’s MySpace page or website for updates. While we’re waiting for some dates to be posted, check out their video for “Weekend” from their stellar 2008 album Car Alarm: