20080819

The Redemption of a Sea Wolf


Maybe it was serendipity that I neglected to mention Sea Wolf as "just another animal band" in my inaugural Grizzly Bear post almost two year ago. More likely, I just forgot about him, but maybe he just wasn't meant to be haphazardly categorized simply by a poor choice of name. Heck, from all I can tell, Sea Wolf was one of the first to be so-named, a leader not a follower. Thus, I will give him a pass.

This song is beautifully languid, constantly building from nothing to something. It slowly adds subtle bass and drums, glockenspiel and violins, both vibrating and flowing like silken waves, atop a dark and distant melody. This sounds like a forgotten b-side from the National, but somehow more human. When Sea Wolf's namesake Alex Brown Church sings "I forgive you" nineteen times over the symphonic last 1:20, you get the sense that he's waited a long time to say it. That it's finally possible to move on.

Listen:
Song for the Magpie
[from A Wolf at the Table*|buy]

*It's part of the audio portion for A Wolf at the Table, Augusten Burroughs' new memoir about his father, alongside other artists like Ingrid Michaelson, Patti Smith, and the Tegan half of Tegan and Sara.

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