25 July 2011
listen: the moonlight butterfly
Story by Andrew Reinholds
Like slipping on a favourite pair of shoes, The Sea and The Cake’s new offering gives listeners something reassuring.
Now seventeen years since their debut release, The Sea and the Cake are back with a six track mini LP ‘The Moonlight Butterfly’ that offers more of their gently sweet and velvet smoothness that has been their signature for so many of those years.
It’s a warm and playful album, from Sam Prekop’s hushed vocals to the glowing guitars he shares with Archer Prewitt. Layers of electronica are provided by John McEntire, who as well as drumming, is responsible for the album’s recording, and perhaps is ultimately responsible for such a crystal clear and crisp sound – absolutely nothing is out of place here.
The opening track ‘Covers’ is a whispered melody that simply sneaks up on you and before you know it you are gone, wrapped up in the jangling rhythm guitar and sweeping synthesizers before ‘Lyric’ rides in off the horizon, with its haunting analog electronics giving the song a brooding darkness not seen elsewhere on the record. The title track takes a distinctly left turn and heads directly into the sun on a Moroder driven electro-pop rocket before they are back with us for the delightful ‘Up on the North Shore’ – easily the rockiest and most direct track on the album, driven firmly along by McEntrie’s excellent drumming.
At just six tracks – and with the sublime ‘Inn Keeping’ stretching to just over ten minutes – ‘The Moonlight Butterfly’ is as brief (and certainly as welcome) as a light summer zephyr casually strolling in to take the heat out of a hot hot summer’s day. But just like that breeze which disappears all too soon, then so does ‘The Moonlight Butterfly’, which is such a shame because you end up wanting it to stay around for a lot longer.