Indie Folk Duo The Sea The Sea Craft Sublime Songs and Harmonies on ‘Stumbling Home’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

On Stumbling Home, the upstate New York-based indie folk duo The Sea The Sea beautifully blend male/female harmonies that would have fit perfectly on any of Fleetwood Mac’s classic mid-‘70s run of classic albums.

The LP, their fourth, is simply sublime. Just two songs in, with the unforgettable “A Thousand Years,” with Chuck E. Costa taking the lead on vocals, it’s obvious the band is hitting its stride. The song was the result of what the band calls “cut out” exercise, where the duo cut out random words from old paperbacks and rework them into original lines. 

Across 10 tracks of delicately constructed folk pop numbers, the duo mixes blissful harmonies and smart lyrics over mostly acoustic guitars. “Parachute,” another stand-out track, this time with Mira Costa taking the lead, is almost hymn-like in its solemn delivery. The guitar playing on the album also goes beyond what has become expected in folk music with complex chord arrangements and unpredicted arrangements – a level of experimentation not found often in folk music that works remarkably well here. The album ends with the title track, with Mira’s ethereal vocals over a fantastic almost waltz-like guitar strum and piano line. 

Stumbling Home, as an album, treads a fine line; the sweet melodies and blissful harmonies handled by another group could risk coming off as too delicate, tipping into preciousness, but the duo manage to avoid that trap through complex arrangements, strong vocals and solid lyrics, and come off sounding remarkably moving. 

The band produced Stumbling Home along with Todd Sickafoose, who last worked with the two on their 2014 record, Love We Are We Love. In the span of just six years, the band has turned in three LPs and an EP and while they were impressive from that very first album, the band’s writing and musical confidence has progressed with each successive release, leading to Stumbling Home, their strongest album yet. Also, worth noting, The Sea The Sea recently announced a holiday EP that is worth a listen.


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