There are some artists and sounds that I find particularly appropriate for different season. Summer marks the season for the hottest indie pop and a return to all my favorite ’80s groups and late fall induces a flurry of bluegrass and American folk. Spring, while a bit more changeable, always marks a return to comforting old favorites as well as research into the new summer obsessions. One artist who’s always on my playlist, however, is Sea Wolf.
I discovered Alex Brown Church’s moody tunes 2 springs ago when he opened for Josh Ritter in Minneapolis, and since haven’t been able to shake him. Although his lyrics can be a weakness (read super repetitive), his sound is divine. It strikes the perfect chord of being atmospheric and raw, acoustic and electric all at once with really spectacular layering. Over the past few years his music has become the aural equivalent of comfort food for me—offering tunes to fit my every whim and mood and lyrics that balance real-world drama with a bit of folklore.
So, today, on my last day of teaching, “Whirlpool” felt like the perfect song. A bittersweet tune for a bittersweet day. When it popped up on my iPod during shuffle I moved it to repeat within seconds.I love its gentle cadence echoing the waves he sings about and the general tender broodiness going on. Also those perfectly placed bells—the man knows how to work it. This is one of his less-hyped songs, but it seriously delivers on emotional days when you want to stew your sorrow a bit. Which, I suppose, is what we should expect from a song called “Whirlpool.”