On the verge of a promising breakthrough, Pale Seas suddenly disappeared. Five years later Stargazing For Beginners finally appears. In the intervening years the band have perfected their craft to create an expansive indie sound akin to Doves or The Verve. Working with producers who between them have worked with The Verve, Michael Kiwanuka, Devandra Banhart and The Bees has helped their focus. The band’s leader Jacob Scott takes his influences from Neil Young, Elliott Smith and Half Japanese as well as seeing his artist mother devote her life to her art.
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My ongoing argument with my dad about War on Drugs reared it’s ugly head at a family gathering last week. It really needs putting to bed now and he needs to accept that he (and the entire remainder of the listening world) are wrong and I’m right. I'm reminded because Pale Seas too have a dramatically poised sound but instead of top down LA Freeway rock they produce a rain lashed English sound where high chunky guitar chord bring to mind fellow big music purveyors like Echo and the Bunnymen and the Verve.
Opener ‘Into the Night’ could be a piece of Oasis stodge in the wrong hands but here just….just remains on the right side of history with it’s big ballooning melody and steady paced sensibility. Making music for the stadium or simply walking through a windswept field, Pale Seas most recall Band of Horses on the glorious ‘My Own Mind’ singer Jacob Scott has a very high keening voice more in common with the guy from Mew than it does a Gallagher or an Ashcroft and I think it’s this that helps them perhaps follow in the footsteps of a band like Doves. There’s enough U2 pomp and stadium ready singalongs on show to fell a horse but these are large writ emotionally yearning songs to weep huge tears at.
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