NPR Song Of The Day: The Sea And Cake, ‘Crossing Line’

The Sea and Cake's Everybody is out now.
The Sea and Cake’s Everybody is out now.

Once again, here’s a short piece about The Sea And Cake’s song “Crossing Line,” from its new album Everybody, for NPR’s Song of the Day. Read the essay and listen to the song here.

Finding Low-Key Charm in a Song’s Warm Nuances

“Crossing Line” by The Sea And Cake from Everybody

The on-again/off-again collective of singer-songwriter Sam Prekop, guitarist Archer Prewitt, bassist Eric Claridge and multi-instrumentalist/producer John McEntire, The Sea and Cake crafts ambitious, agreeable, vaguely indefinable pop-rock music that sticks mostly to jazz-tinged mellow moods.

On The Sea and Cake’s surprisingly hard-nosed “Crossing Line,” Prekop’s wispy vocal cadences and phrasing sound comfortably expressive: His breathy intonation recalls an instrumental approach not unlike alto saxophonist Paul Desmond as he paints his words and melodies with an airy delicacy. It’s an understated approach that allows his bandmates’ subtle and articulate work to remain more or less in the foreground, with the guitars’ fuzzy bite building a colorful tension-and-release effect when positioned alongside Prekop.

Like most of The Sea and Cake’s previous albums, Everybody (out May 8) doesn’t demand notice at first: Prekop and company’s distinctive, even repetitive sound could border on unobtrusive sameness if heard at little more than an epidermal level. But The Sea and Cake’s charm lies in its warm nuances rather than any strident pleas for attention, with its rewards revealing themselves slowly over time.