Something of a Chicago institution, The Sea And Cake have been in existence for the best part of two decades. However, with the band's members being busy on other projects, their 11th full length collection is their first in six years.
Beginning with the breezy confidence of Cover The Mountain and concluding with reassuring cosiness of These Falling Arms, it feels like they've never been away.
It is the first album recorded as the trio of Sam Prekop, guitarist Archer Prewitt and Tortoise drummer John McEntire. It was written and recorded following the departure of bassist Eric Claridge.
Synthesized studio trickery is kept to a minimum and replaced by organic analogue sounds of real instruments. Nick Macri guests on double bass and Paul Von Mertens (a frequent collaborator with Brian Wilson) plays flute and clarinet.
The ten elegantly arranged, globally inspired indie pop songs effortlessly combine playful shifts in texture, sophisticated Krautrock rhythms and quirky lyrics that could mean anything you want them to (the press releases talks hopefully of Prekop's words having a "cumulative meaning!).
Needless to say, none of this is intended as a fashion statement or win over a youthful audience. The green vinyl version is a bit of a giveaway since the 38-minute LP offers a kind of Dad Pop with tunes that weary nine-to-fivers wish jabbering deejays would play while your on their dull commute.