Sea Wolf
"Leaves in the River"

(Dangerbird Records 2007)Sea Wolf - Leaves in the River

When Alex Brown Church offered a sample of his debut full-length "Leaves in the River" on his recent EP, "Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low," it was, more than anything else, merely a clever tease. He threw charming and gentle lullabies out as a hint of what was in store. But "Leaves in the River" is much more than just a collection of dreamy tunes, it is a wistful serenade of twinkling pop music that thrives on its understated attitude.

On tracks like the "The Rose Captain" and "Middle Distance Runner," Sea Wolf is rhythmic and modern yet while still retaining a warm and introspective folk sound that is like Simon and Garfunkel for a younger, hipper generation. An accordion pulses over the swirling, stamping melody of "Winter Windows" while tambourine jingles and vibes twinkle amidst the quick and darkly monotonous sound of "Song For The Dead." Sea Wolf starts "Black Leaf Falls" quietly, slowly building to a fuller sound that pulls listeners in. But it is the rich instrumentation of "You're A Wolf" that makes the album while elsewhere the smart and smooth "The Cold, The Dark & The Silence" puts a little upbeat bounce into its sedate melody.

While Sea Wolf's "Leaves in the River" is always modest, it never comes across as such. The melodies blend together for a full sound that offers a sweet compliment to Church's vocals. Where much indie pop is either too upbeat or trying too hard, Sea Wolf's debut is somewhere in the middle.

A-

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