The Sea and Cake: Runner
The Sea and Cake: Runner- The Sea and Cake make it easy to revel in their simplistic nature. They are masters at utilizing serene and sometimes even tranquil melodies. Even their more rhythmic songs, like ‘Skyscraper,’ have an element of somberness about them. They even channel the essence of Simon and Garfunkel, especially apparent in ‘Harbor Bridges.’ Together since the 90s, Runner is The Sea and Cake’s tenth record, and the first since 2008. The quality of Sam Prekop’s vocals is exposed and unaffected, bringing an effervescent presence to even the most discernable songs. Backed by Archer Prewitt on guitar, Eric Claridge on bass, and John McEntire on Drums, The Sea and Cake have created a remarkable, easy-going listening experience.
While a few of the songs on Runner get lost in each other and sort of blend together, the album opener and closer, ‘On and On’ and ‘The Runner’ respectively, differentiate and emerge as essential songs to the listening experience that The Sea and Cake are trying to create. ‘On and On’ has a faster tempo and grabs your attention immediately, as a good opener should. Conversely, ‘The Runner,’ closer and also the song in which the album is named, is melancholy in a clandestine sort of way, not actually making you sad or depressed, but ingeniously conceiving an aura of sadness making it the perfect song to end Runner. The songs streaming throughout the rest of the album are equally as essential. They manage to take you from the care-free attitude that miraculously appears with the arrival of summertime in ‘Harps’ to songs about being happy “drifting anywhere,” ‘New Patterns.’ Runner casually navigates between the most complex of feelings and ideals and the uncomplicated aspirations of innocence effortlessly, all the while taking their listeners along for the ride…8.5/10