The Sea The Sea
CSPS Legion Arts — Friday, May 27 at 8 p.m.
Acoustic folk-pop duo The Sea The Sea will return to CSPS Legion Arts on Friday, May 27. Mira Stanley and Chuck E. Costa are touring with their newly released six-song EP titled In the Altogether. They are in the midst of a brief, nine-day Midwest tour, and Cedar Rapids was fortunate to have made their itinerary. This jaunt will mark the fourth time that the pair have swung through the region.
The Sea The Sea first took the CSPS stage in 2014, touring in support of their debut album, playfully titled Love We Are We Love. I was in the audience in 2014 and quickly became enamored with their charming, harmony-centric music. Mira Stanley has graciously agreed to be interviewed about their upcoming show.
Together, Stanley and Costa write the lyrics and craft every aspect of their songs.
They’re excited that their writing process has grown with In the Altogether; as Stanley puts it, they have “started more groove-based writing, starting songs from the music and then adding lyrics once [they’ve] tapped into a feel.” Stanley also said that, “From the beginning though, we’ve tried to keep the process organic and intuitive, and that’ll always be at the core of our creativity together because that sort of place is what feels most inspiring, most interesting, most true to our collective voice.” Organic and intuitive is the perfect way to describe In the Altogether; it’s no surprise that one of the lead singers would hit the nail on the head.
The Sea The Sea hail from Upstate New York and is acclaimed for tender lyrics and gorgeous harmonies that are, indeed, both organic and intuitive. Their voices weave in and out and around, plaiting sensuous songs about relationships, loss, miscommunication and the struggle of not knowing what the future holds. A stand out song on their new EP is “Set Us Free,” with lyrics comprised of the abundant ringing repetition: “Here we go/take it slow,” which moves to: “I want to say/words get in the way,” then transitions to: “game on/it comes out wrong.” The song also has a memorable chorus: “Nobody is trying to hold you down/lock you up and throw away the key/you don’t have to make excuses/because the truth is going to set us, set us free.” Another stand out on the EP is “Restless Heart,” with lyrics that involve worry about the future and being fulfilled, while circling back to relationship that might just be the “ace up my sleeve.”
The group has recently recruited a new member — bassist and acoustic guitarist Eric Margan is joining The Sea The Sea for their 2016 tour schedule. His talents are also represented on their new EP. Mira Stanley said of Margan that “[he] is an incredible musician and writer in his own right, and a great harmony singer. Branching out into collaborations has been a big part of our growth as a band over the past year.”
The Sea The Sea vividly remember their 2014 show in Cedar Rapids. Mira Stanley says it was “a truly memorable experience all around — the show, the people, the town — and then we were able to stay on an extra day last time, and spent time writing and recording songs on stage.” Stanley paid compliments to “the good people of CSPS [who] run an absolutely top-notch venue, and are really thoughtful in what they do.”
The Sea The Sea is officially on the road — traversing the Midwest in their electric car, equipped with a camping stove so these singer-songwriter-vegetarians can do their best to stay healthy while touring. They also will carry not only the band’s new addition — Eric Margan — but a USB powered flux capacitor. Because, as Mira Stanley attests, “One never knows.”
Be a part of The Sea The Sea’s return to the CSPS stage and get swept up by their harmony-driven music. Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door for The Sea The Sea’s 8 p.m. show at CSPS on Friday, May 27. Tickets available at legionarts.org.