They say that the best thing to drink when you’re sick is ginger ale: its caffeine-free ginger taste is pleasing without being too sweet, its bubbles are light enough to be effervescent, and it’s something that you’d also drink when well. One may never be ‘jonesing for ginger ale,’ but it’s always welcome, and each time sipped, makes a good case for itself. The Sea & Cake, out with their latest, The Moonlight Butterfly, are the ginger ale of indie.
The Chicago act is never going to bowl anyone over, and Butterfly is no exception. Instead, the sounds are smooth and pleasing like Canada Dry. Butterfly is a more restrained record, both in track number (at only six songs, it’s almost more of an EP than an LP) and in style, with less guitar than prior releases Car Alarm (QRO review) and Everybody (QRO review). The songs are lengthy, four minutes at least, with penultimate “Inn Keeping” at over ten, and the pieces can get too lengthy at times. The group doesn’t go for the expansive epic of Chicago post-rock brethren; rather, they stay relaxed on pieces such as “Covers” and “Up On the North Shore”, and even soft & sweet like also-Chi-town Autumn Defense (QRO spotlight on) on closer “Monday”.
Like The Autumn Defense, The Sea & Cake don’t ‘rock’. But their sound is so pleasing to the ear that it doesn’t matter. In this world of high-octane sports drinks and ad-blitz competing colas, The Sea & Cake is the ginger ale of music. And that’s great.
MP3 Stream: “Up On the North Shore“