Leaves in the River
Sea Wolf is the project of Alex Church and stunned many with his debut EP Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low, whose lead song You're A Wolf seemed made for the alterna-soaps in the US with its catchy melody and edgy lyrics. Combining the best of indie rock (maybe even Joy Division), singer-songwriter depth, Caribou-like electronica and even a bit of Balkan folf feel, the poetry of the lyrics is matched by quietly addictive music that would grace Radiohead or Elliott Smith.
It's a measure of how high a hurdle has been set that the standout songs before - You're A Wolf and Middle Distance Runner - now are only just part of what is a great album. This is narrative songwriting at its best - every song has its vignette, neatly told, beautifully presented. When a new act is able to generate songs as smoulderingly great as Black Dirt and You're A Wolf, it is clear that there is a genuine talent here. Although there is a fantastically considered delivery here, it may be that Church will only improve with a successful album behind him, as he becomes more comfortable with musicians behind him.