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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Sea Wolf is back with Old World Romance

    Press Photo

    After leaving a successful band, embarking on a solo career is rarely an effort that results in something fruitful. But when you’re Alex Church, you find more opportunities than you could have imagined.

    Sea Wolf is the brainchild of Church, formerly of indie rock band Irving. The solo route seems to have been Church’s best option when crafting the hooky, radio-ready indie songs that Sea Wolf has come to be known for, since Church’s 2007 major label debut Leaves In The River.

    “Part of the reason I decided to do Sea Wolf was because I was kind of sick of the group decision-making process,” Church said. “It just took forever, so I just decided to try something where it was just me. I’m the decider.”

    Venturing out alone has worked wonders for him. You’ve likely heard Church’s distinguished vocals in commercials or on The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack, layering his folk ability over punchy instrumentation, helping to bring the genre to the mainstream forefront.

    While he’s been chastised by the hipster-chic for lending his songs to these efforts, it’s proven to be beneficial for Sea Wolf as a brand, pushing his last two efforts up the Billboard Heatseekers chart to the No. 10 and No. 9 spots, respectively.

    And part of that may be because Old World Romance is a dead-ahead pop album — and that’s not a detriment by any means. Though Church’s previous efforts have erred on the side of experimentation, his use of traditional structures on gems such as “Priscilla” and “Dear Fellow Traveler” have yielded the most digestible Sea Wolf effort yet.

    “I just wanted this album to be more straight-forward,” Church said. “Instrumentally, it was more experimental for me, playing around with a drum machine. I wanted a more melodic record.”

    The album also sounds like a journey itself, and for good reason. After the whirlwind success of Leaves In The River, Church relocated to Montreal to stock up his creative reserves and write 2009’s White Water, White Bloom. Upon his return to the Golden State, Church penned and recorded Old World Romance, inadvertently making the record a homecoming soundtrack of sorts.

    “In the past, I’ve woven certain themes throughout the record,” Church said. “For certain songs, I’ve let them be whatever they needed to be. But I feel like there are themes for sure that came out naturally, just based on life experiences, returning to where you’re from.”

    For that, it seems California is where Church flourishes best. His return to Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood has imbued some of that breezy West Coast appeal into his sound, which lends well to Old World Romance. Though Church does admit that the record sounds more like him than it does a full band, a communal effort is displayed in the grand textures of his latest album.

    “It’s my process, it’s my project, but I like the people who play with me to have a piece of it. I want them to feel like a part of Sea Wolf.”

    Follow us on Twitter @wildcatarts and follow K.C. @KristianCLibman.

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