Seabear needn’t lull listeners in with ultra, attention-fetching songmanship and goofy, “hey! Look at us!” gimmicks. No, these honest Joes…or honest Sindris, Gudbjorgs, and Hlins, as the case may be…rally behind a more sincere approach to the game of gaining the reins, and on their debut, The Ghost That Carried Us Away (Morr Music), you can hear it.
Typically bedroom sounding throughout, main man Sindri Mar Sigfusson recorded this one mic master stroke at home in Reykjavik…though he’d have the listener believe his heart lay no where near city life. Simple, juvenile even, images of nature permeate almost ever track of The Ghost, almost as if Mr. Mar Sigfusson longs so very badly to walk about in a pair of beastly little paws amongst lush natural backdrops in the dead center of no where. Look to “Owl Waltz” and “Hospital Beds” to find the singer’s child like wonder and preciously perceived notions of innocence in the animal kingdom…no National Geographic predator on prey action here.
Such lyrical content makes sense, given Sigfusson’s age. At twenty-four, he teeters on the sometimes unwelcome brink of full-on adulthood…a scarier step for some there is not. Lines like “Human skin can be tough to live in” (“I Sing I Swim”) also offer further proof of his hesitation with aging. So The Ghost sounds plump full of retreat and denial, as if kiddie folk is the comfort Sigfusson’s soul seeks. Fortunately, the songwriter’s personal search makes a beneficiary out of the listener. On songs like “Cat Piano” and “Arms”, tasteful bits of glockenspiel, tinkering toy harmonicas, piano and accordion, plus whispy boy girl vocals do just the heart gooey trick. This is the kind of music that will nestle in nicely next to a collection of Sufjan Stevens’ albums.
It is also the kind of music that aims to liberate the child most keep permanently tucked away inside. I suppose that helps to explain just why Seabear pulled me so snuggly to the speakers when I first heard them. It was September 19th…Doesn’t everyone deserve to feel so young on their birthday? - David Pitz