'Til We See the Shore

'Til We See the Shore

Seabird strikes a balance between the austerity of modern British rock (especially Coldplay and Travis) and the quirkiness of American piano-based pop (see Ben Folds). The Cincinnati-based quartet adds to these influences a starry-eyed idealism and an understated (but still present) Christian outlook. Their major label debut ‘Til We See the Shore is more than the sum of these musical ingredients, displaying genuine wit and imagination. Singer/keyboardist Aaron Morgan carries himself with the air of a slightly bruised but still resolute romantic; his band achieves a pastoral sonic wash punctuated by guitar freak-outs and honky-tonk piano riffs. The carnival bounce of “Sometimes” and the bopping, almost giddy energy of “Maggie Mahoney” show their command of simple, hook-centered song forms. Seabird soars on incandescent love songs like “Falling For You” and “Stronger,” and though the vibe here is generally positive, darker-tinged songs like “Let Me Go On” and “Cotton Mouth (Jargon)” find the band capable of moving beyond sweetness and light. Overall, ‘Til We See the Shore suggests that Seabird is winging in the right direction.

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