Survival of the Fittest

In Electronic, Indie, Pop, Rock, Soul, Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 2:04 pm

“…Wesafari is relatively unknown in their own hometown of Seattle, the natives distracted by other Pacific Northwest heavyweights like The Decemberists, Deathcab for Cutie, The Shins, etc. They are the underdogs with no expectations. In near obscurity, they crafted this stellar collection of sounds, samples, and hooks into an album that has easily breached my all-time top 20. Now all they need is a follow-up…”

I wrote this blip in October of 2006, a fact that only cements the reality of the time that has elapsed between then and now. Somewhat tragically, I could write an identical passage about Wesafari today and still be almost 100% factually correct. The slight statistical anomaly is actually the most important part: there is now a follow-up…

Wesafari might be the ultimate local band. Amazing(ly), obscure. A treasure you feel priveleged to know about. A small part of you just wants to keep them in your pocket forever, but the bigger part wants them to play packed rooms in every town. For the dynamic healing power of their music to fix scores of unsuspecting and previously unhappy people. For the artistic process, the sweat and tears and time it takes to make something great, to all be worth it in the end. This industry sucks so bad right now, it blows my mind sometimes that bands that fit Wesafari’s description (of which there are few) even exist at all.

Being such a huge fan of Alaska, I was almost afraid to listen to Sea Survivors. The fear was short-lived. Like Alaska‘s “Shooting Stars” before it, “Lions” is a killer opener here , but with a key difference: it’s not Alaska. My interest piqued, I plowed onward. A few things stand out. One of the only negative things I can say about Alaska is that it is relatively short (9 tracks). Survivors comes in a healthy 13 tracks long and is immaculately paced. Newest band member Trina Mills lends her vocals to a few songs, most notably “Eye for an Ideal”, where she and Rick Wright do a little back and forth round that I loved.  This still sounds like the Wesafari I love, but it’s warmer, more hopeful and lush. A little more golden. If Alaska was a snow drift lean-to, Sea Survivors is a blanket, beckoning you from the chaise lounge, ready to bring the heat back into your life.

[from Sea Survivors|buy]
Shooting Stars
[from Alaska|buy]
From Glacier to Sea
[live on KEXP]


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