Sometimes, when a band makes enjoyable record after enjoyable record, one can get spoiled or bored, and want them to do something new (of course, when the band actually does that, everyone complains that it’s not what they do best…). And then there are bands that consistently deliver who you’re quite happy to have consistently deliver, like Chicago’s The Sea and Cake. Their relaxed, smooth, indie-rock has been working well for almost two decades now, and latest Runner keeps up that strong tradition.
Last year’s near-EP Moonlight Butterfly (QRO review) went more restrained, but with Runner the group adds more of a push, along the lines of the two before Butterfly, 2008’s Car Alarm (QRO review) and 2007’s Everybody (QRO review), though perhaps with even more impetus, at least at times. Runner starts off very well with “On and On”, as the group adds a press without losing their easy-on-the-ears sound. It’s still hard for The Sea and Cake to have a ‘standout’ track amidst all their easy listening, and their stabs outside of their wheelhouse deliver mixed results – “The Invitations” and the titular closer are both too tidal in their slow nature, but the stripped “Harbor Bridges” is beautiful.
While The Sea and Cake’s sound is so refined as to need little polishing, adding some push on the well-named Runner sees the band keep up their shine, as one of the easiest, most enjoyable acts to listen to today.
MP3 Stream: “On and On“