Listen to this while high: The Sea and Cake's Moonlight Butterfly.
Behind the buzz: The
Sara Lee of indie pop, known and loved for their steady line in aural
confections, Chicago-based The Sea and Cake return with Moonlight Butterfly, their ninth studio confection since their
self-titled 1994 debut. The charm of this post-rock assortment latest isn't in
its novelty, since the band has put up successful effort to be unlike any other
eccentric in a landscape nearly petrified with them. It's better to experience this album as
one more barrow-load from beloved bakers of dainties.
Earth OG, the dizzying vertical properties of which make it a complete
Soap Bubbles in Amber:
"Covers" opens the proceedings with a jangling om and settles into a Byrdsy meditative jangle. Sam Prekop's papery
voice (indie rock's recycling of Whispering Bill Anderson) makes few demands on
the listener in its tentative gestures toward feeling before the song gently
groans to a stop like an elderly Bentley. Apart from the fans who've muched
down S & C's catalog this past fright-ridden decade, "Lyric" would
appeal to the sensitive types I see crowding the Oldies section at Amoeba on
the Haight, thumbing over Emitt Rhodes CDs with that Ark of the Covenant look
on their pasty mugs. The title track is a stately synth march that capers along for
a while in sub-Alan Parsons manner. "Up on the North Shore" wafts by like a
country breeze, decorated with about as many subtle caresses, but "Inn
Keeping," clocking in at over 10 minutes, is an extended impressionist
daydream, approaching such masterpieces of insubstantiality as "Track Goes By"
by The High Llamas. The finale is "Monday," a slight piece of skylit gossamer
that would fit right well atop Mickey Dolenz tonsils on any post-Nesmith
Monkees LP. A mere six tracks may look off-putting to purse-pinching consumers,
but oldtime stoners are likely own at least two hundred oldtimey prog albums with
even fewer songs.
If your idea of a nirvanic after-work experience is crashing on the couch pulling
bong to Paul McCartney's Red Rose
Speedway, this is your gateway to new worlds of enchanting piffle.