Our Take: The Sea The Sea Rise ‘From the Light’ in Dazzling Sophomore Album

From the Light - The Sea The Sea album art

Our Rating

There’s nothing quite like the stirring warmth of rich, sweet music, and few bands do it better than The Sea The Sea. Out today, 6/1/2018, The Sea The Sea’s sophomore album From the Light is an earthy and celestial folk rock record rooted in lush melody and intimate emotion. Let the harmonies wash over you; let them cleanse your mind and lift your soul.

:: stream/purchase From the Light here ::
Listen: ‘From the Light’ – The Sea The Sea


Named one of Atwood Magazine’s 2018 artists to watch, The Sea The Sea are a pop-leaning folk-rock quartet hailing from Troy, New York. Founding members (and married couple) Mira and Chuck Costa added Cara May Gorman and Stephen Struss to their permanent lineup soon after releasing and heavily touring their acclaimed 2014 debut album Love We Are We Love.

The Sea The Sea © Kiki Vassilakis

The Sea The Sea © Kiki Vassilakis

In doubling their size, the band also drastically transformed their sound while staying true to their folk origins. Whereas The Sea The Sea’s debut felt by and large like a traditional acoustic-leaning guitar-and-vocals record (with some exceptions), From the Light is far more reminiscent of Florence + The Machine and (Atwood favorites) The National Parks, who utilize folk elements in their pop/rock arrangements to create a multifaceted and many-textured listening experience. With breathtaking movement and mind-blowing vocals, From the Light is a coming-of-age record that taps into something deep inside.

The Sea The Sea rise with radiant beauty and dazzling energy to sweep us off our feet and capture our hearts. Opener “Everybody” lights the first fire with an incredible onslaught of harmonies. A testament to our commonalities (everybody’s falling, everybody’s getting up; nobody’s calling, nobody’s growing up), the song reminds us that in the long haul, we’re not so different from one another after all – even if it feels at times like you’re all alone in this world. It’s a call to togetherness, an inspiring magnet drawing us closer to our ourselves.

Bang Bang Bang - The Sea The Sea

Bang Bang Bang – The Sea The Sea

What was in the reason
when it all was set in flames
No one ever asked her
she was something wild to tame
Maybe it was love,
but she left it just the same
Sometimes you know it from the start
Bang, Bang, Bang goes your heart

“Everybody” flows smoothly into the infectiously seductive single “Bang Bang Bang,” one of the band’s most memorable cuts and an early favorite: In our April track review, we wrote: “Passionate and evocative, the charming folk rock ballad weaves dramatic, full-bodied vocal harmonies into a hauntingly moving expression of the deepest form of love.“ A true treasure, It’s the kind of song you can play over and over again as you plunder the depths of its music, as well as its meaning.

But why play one track on repeat when you can indulge in an entire record’s shimmering glow? “Ricochet” finds the band dipping into harder grooves as they harness dynamic contrast, with great results: The song is another standout. The vivid “All Go Right” then shows just how much The Sea The Sea can do with quieter moments (hint: it’s a lot!).

The Sea The Sea © Kiki Vassilakis

The Sea The Sea © Kiki Vassilakis

Atwood Magazine had the honor of premiering the poetic song “Phototropic” last month. A “passionate song of perseverance,” the track reminds us to reminds us to grow toward the light. Light is used as a potent metaphor throughout the record: Title track “From the Light” builds up an appreciation for the what it means to be basking in the light:

We go from the light,
to the dark, in the light,
to the dark, again

We glow, we’re right,
we’re wrong, we’re right,
we’re wrong, again

Harkening back to opener “Everybody” and its message of unity, “From the Light” once again hones in on the ties that bind us. We are all imperfect: We swing like a pendulum to and from spaces, some of them good and some of them not-so-good. That’s life! In the poignant “Good for Something,” The Sea The Sea offer some profound bits of truth:

The only choice you thought
you had was all or nothing
Things can never be so bad
that they’re not good for something
From the Light - The Sea The Sea album art

From the Light – The Sea The Sea album art

Their words ring out with touching emotion; one need not know what brought this song to life, in order to understand its powerful depths. As From the Light nears its conclusion, The Sea The Sea allow themselves to trade in the super-catchy pop melodies for more intricate lyricism and musical intricacies. Songs “Gemini” and “Let It Be Said,” while slow and brooding, offer intense reflections on life.

all those shadows that we know
twisted on the wall
oh, let them not make
strangers of us all
– “Let It Be Said,” The Sea The Sea

“Take That” concludes From the Light with a heavy heart and weary smile. Encapsulating the warmth and rich musical articulations we’ve come to adore throughout the record, The Sea The Sea bid us farewell on a somber but hopeful note – leaving their listeners with a sense of mystic elevation and grounded contentment.

We are so often inundated with messages of hatred and fear, pain and suffering on a massive, global scale… But zoom out a bit, and it’s easy to recognize that we have far more in common with one another; that we’re all fallible humans, prone to error and equipped with amazing adaptive abilities. As the band sing in the album’s final song, “We’re all just running around, trying to save us from ourselves.”

The Sweet Seduction of The Sea The Sea’s “Bang Bang Bang”

:: review ::

Ultimately, From the Light is exactly the sort of majestic, communal call-to-action our world needs in 2018. Its hauntingly beautiful music and profoundly moving lyrics strike a chord, resonating at a time where it can be so hard to see the light. It’s still there, though; all we need is someone to guide us in the right direction, and perhaps offer some perspective and brilliant harmony.

The Sea The Sea’s sophomore album From the Light is out now! Give the band a listen and be sure to catch them on tour this year – dates and more information below!

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:: stream/purchase From the Light here ::

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From the Light - The Sea The Sea album art

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📸 © Chattman Photography

:: From the Light ::


The Sea The Sea Tour Dates

* Josiah Johnson, Planes on Paper
June 1 – Albany, NY – The Hollow Bar + Kitchen
June 2 – Burlington, VT – Light Club Lamp Shop
June 3 – Nashua, NH – Riverwalk Café and Music Bar
June 8 – Northampton, MA
June 9 – Freehold, NJ – Concerts In The Studio
June 20 – Brooklyn, NY – Littlefield *
June 21 – New Haven, CT – Café Nine *
June 22 – Cambridge, MA – Club Passim *
June 23 – Concord, NH – South Stage at Market Days Fair
June 24 – King of Prussia, PA – Concerts Under the Stars
June 27 – Richmond, VA – The Downtown Music Hall at Capital Ale House *
June 28 – Asheville, NC – Ambrose West *
June 30 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern Café & Music Hall
July 17 – Bellaire, MI – Short’s Brewing Company
July 18 – Lake Orion, MI – 20 Front Street
July 19 – Cincinnati, OH – MOTR Pub
July 20 – Wakeman, OH – Music at Riverdog
July 23 – Barnesville, OH – Albert S George Youth Center
July 25 – Davenport, IA – Raccoon Motel
July 27 – Cedar Rapids, IA – CSPS Hall
July 30 – Iutsen, MN – Papa Charlies Saloon
July 31 – Minneapolis, MN – 7th St Entry
August 1-4 – Appleton, WI – Mile of Music
August 5 – Fairfield, IA – Café Paradiso
August 7 – Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Bandstand
tix & more info @ theseathesea.com

The Breakdown

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com