Sea Cycles: A Dreamy Score For Becoming Lost In Thought

Sea Cycles' new album, Ground & Air, is out June 9. (Courtesy of the artist)
Sea Cycles’ new album, Ground & Air, is out June 9. (Courtesy of the artist)

Here’s a short thing I wrote to accompany a premiere for Sea Cycle’s song “Diving Bell,” over at WNYC’s Soundcheck. You can read the full thing there if you like.

The dreamy, chiming music of Sea Cycles evokes a feeling of awe that invites you to get lost in your own thoughts. With crisp, flittering melodies and rhythms that ping-pong in the headphones, it’s a mellow and cinematic score perfectly suited for late nights alone and meandering through an unfamiliar city with no destination in mind.

Forming in 2011, the Jacksonville, Florida band — comprised of Brian Squillace, Lindsey Shante, Landon Paul, and Josh Wessolowski — self-released its EP, What We Came For, in 2012 — creating a sound informed by bands like Postal Service, Broken Social Scene and the retro synths of Tycho by way of Tron. Now Sea Cycles is set to release its full-length debut, Ground & Air, which further hones the band’s mix of ambient music, rock, and electronic pop. That can certainly be heard in Sea Cycles’ trance-inducing song, “Diving Bell.”

Sea Cycles opens with unison chanting “I’m underneath my diving bell / I am asleep, you cannot tell,” amid warbling frequencies that swirl like tiny electrons in an atom about to burst apart. But soon, those voices give way to an instrumental passage of celestial synth textures and guitar lines that ebb and flow through a series of stirring emotional peaks. Coming late in the album’s sequencing, “Diving Bell” plays like the culmination of a long-winding story. Still, while the song is lovely, its wistful tone conjures a sense of loneliness at the core.

“A large crowd of people can all physically be together in one area, but inside each individual’s head they can be in a very different state” Sea Cycles writes about the song’s meaning.” It’s like being at a party with tons of happy people, but for some reason your mood has dropped. Inside you know you are emotionally underwater, but no one else can tell.”