Tag Archives: seabird

Music Review:: Over the Hills And Everywhere: A Christmas EP by Seabird

3 Dec

It’s no secret that Seabird is one of my favorite bands, so it should come as no surprise then that I adore their Christmas EP, Over the Hills And Everywhere.  The piano-driven rock outfit from Cincinnati proves it can still compete in a market over saturated with Christmas music.

Staying away from syrupy vocals and the overuse of electronic jingle bells, Over the Hills And Everywhere takes familiar songs like “Go Tell It On the Mountain” adds a jazzy beat for a whole new take on classic.  Reworking favorites is what this album does, since it lacks original songs, usually a big disappointment for me in Christmas albums.  But Seabird changes up the songs so much that I am hearing “What Child Is This” and “Joy to the World” in completely new ways.

It’s a good little EP, but does lose points for the amazing songs I know that Seabird is more than capable of writing.  Still, Over the Hills And Everywhere is one of my favorite new EPs this holiday season.

*Dear FTC, I listened to this album online and then bought it with my very own monies!*

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Take 10 with Seabird’s Ryan Morgan

3 Mar

Let me get something out of the way—my interview with Ryan Morgan of Seabird is not at all fair and balanced.  Since I heard band’s debut album, Til We See the Shore in 2008, I’ve been a Seabird mega-fan.  Naturally, I was very excited to talk to the band’s guitarist, Ryan Morgan (big bro to lead singer, Aaron) about their latest album, Rocks Into Rivers, hear about the crowd synergy at the live show, and the band’s upcoming tours with Sherwood and NeedtoBreathe.  Dubbed “the most approachable band in the world,” Seabird is one of those bands that’s not only good on stage, but they’re good guys, too.

For more information on Seabird, head on over to seabirdmusic.com and you will find album, merch, and tour information as well as all the band’s social networking info. Also, check out Backseat Writer’s other Seabird coverage.  You can download a copy of “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” from Backseat Writer here.

Free Song Download:: “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” – Seabird

13 Nov

Seabird is back with a new single entitled “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” which hit all digital outlets November 3. The track is pulled off of their sophomore album, Rocks Into Rivers, which releases on December 15. And now you have the chance to download “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” here!

A follow up to Seabird’s 2008 critically acclaimed label debut, ‘Til We See The Shore, Rocks Into Rivers features top-notch production by Paul Moak (Mat Kearney, Sixpence None The Richer) and Matt Hales from Aqualung. The band split its time between Ocean Studios in Los Angeles and The Smoakstack in Nashville, honing what brothers Aaron and Ryan Morgan are calling their most exciting project to date.

Cincinnati-based Seabird comprises brothers Aaron (vocals/keys) and Ryan (guitar) Morgan as well as Preston Lane (drums). The band signed with Credential Recordings in late 2007 and released its debut label project,‘Til We See The Shore, June 24, 2008. A collaborative effort with producers Jacquire King (Modest Mouse, Kings Of Leon, Tom Waits, Switchfoot) and Allen Salmon (Mute Math), the album received phenomenal national publicity, featured on episodes of “Numb3rs,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and promos for ABC’s 12-time Emmy-nominated series, “Pushing Daisies.” The band was also recognized by its hometown as “Artist of the Year” at the 2008 Cincinnati Entertainment Awards and toured with artists including Barcelona, Meese, and Jars of Clay throughout the spring and summer of 2009. (Read Backseat Writer’s interview with Seabird’s Aaron Morgan, “Seabird Sees The Shore“!)

LISTEN TO AND/OR DOWNLOAD “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful” BY SEABIRD HERE! (This will take you to an external link.)

Rockin’ at RevGen 2009

14 Sep

Revelation Generation (RevGen) held its fifth annual two-day Labor Day Weekend extravaganza Sept. 4-5 in Frenchtown, NJ.  This year’s line-up was ambitious and impressive with big hitters such as Switchfoot, Jars of Clay, Relient K, Needtobreathe, Flyleaf, and MercyMe taking center stage along with other favorites such as Derek Webb, Jon Foreman (s0lo acoustic performance), BarlowGirl, Seabird, The Devil Wears Prada, and GRITS.  Thirty-thousand people, five stages, good eats, and great weather–the combination made for a great day!

Beach balls of all sizes started flying during Relient K’s set.  I got hit on the head a few times!

Attending only the second day of festivities, here’s what I discovered–The Fold (great band!), Dawn from Fireflight is super nice, Seabird is amazing live (and in conversation), BReith is a funny guy, Relient K keeps getting better and better, Jon Foreman on acoustic packed out the Nashville Tent, BarlowGirl is wild in concert (must see again!), I like Derek Webb’s new album much more on acoustic!

The ever-entertaining Matt Theissen of Relient K.

Like any festival, there are degenerates who ruin the fun for everyone.  I wanted to keep this positive, but Sarah got spit on by a teenager girl (“What? I wasn’t spitting on you!” she protested), got kicked by rowdy college boys (who came dangerously close to kicking my precious camera), was hit on the head by a half-empty water bottle that came flying out of nowhere (no one claimed it or apologized), and dodged numerous frisbees and footballs.  In fact, I was almost clubbed a few times as well.  I can honestly say that some people were completely out of control–and, no, they weren’t all teenagers and I don’t think any of them were drunk.  It was so exasperating that we didn’t dare venture past the acoustic stage after dark.  With a crowd that size, people don’t need to throw concussion-causing objects–that’s what yards and parks are for!

This is B.Reith.  I met him in the merch tent.  He was pretty amusing.  Check him out!

Overall, the event was wonderful.  The staff and volunteers were courteous, helpful, and so kind!  The festival really stepped up service to the media this year, which made things much easier.  And–this is almost unheard of–the shows ran almost perfectly on schedule!  Good management, RevGen!  I will definitely make RevGen a permanent part of my Labor Day weekend.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, you know I’ve been talking about The Glorious Unseen [read Take 5] all week. Well, here’s a happy TGU member running the merch table. Sadly, I didn’t get to attend their live show.

When I got to RevGen, The Fold was on the New York Stage, and they were really good.  I caught up with the band later and also discovered, they are really nice guys.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take their picture.  But I will definitely interview The Fold for Backseat Writer.

Aaron of Seabird on keys

Aaron Morgan of Seabird on keys [top and bottom].

The first band I had a chance to watch and photography was none other than Seabird.  I’ve been dying to see these guys live since I first heard Til We See the Shore.  And Seabird delivered as promised.  The only downside–they didn’t play my fave song, “Maggie Mahoney,” but they did play two songs from their upcoming (insert girly scream) album! [Read Seabird interview.]

Jon Foreman performing for a packed out tent of fans [top and bottom].

Next, I checked out Jon Foreman’s acoustic set in the Nashville tent, which was packed out with rabid Jon Foreman fans.  He sang “The Cure For Pain” when I was taking my closer pics.  I know I’m supposed to be objective as a journalist, but tears were just pouring down my face as I snapped these shots.  “The Cure For Pain” seems to be an anthem for so many judging not only by my reaction, but the crowd reaction as well.

I also caught BarlowGirl, Relient K, and Derek Webb on film, but missed out on Switchfoot’s photo pit.  It was getting pretty crazy up there, so I kept my distance.  Here are the rest of my photos::

BarlowGirl

Relient K


Derek Webb did a fabulous acoustic show, including some songs from his new album, Stockholm Syndrome, which just released Sept. 1.  [Read BSW interview with Derek Webb].


I’ve been super busy lately, but I promise to let you know when I’ve edited/uploaded all my RevGen photos.

Danyew:: Following the Streetlights

3 Aug

Photo by Aaron Redfield

It started out as a song for his twin sister, but after two years of tinkering, Danyew’s hit single, “Beautiful King,” morphed into a worshipful song about God.  “Her name is Rachael Marie, which rhymes perfectly with ‘beautiful king,’” jokes the 23 year-old recording artist, who released his debut album, Danyew, (Sparrow) in April. “I got to the chorus—‘every word that You say wields with the beauty of angels’—and I was like, my sister’s an amazing person, but this is epic.  This could be a totally amazing worship song.  After I realized that, the song just flowed.” And it continues to flow, including at Phil Danyew’s concerts, when the audience starts singing “Beautiful King” right along with its writer.

While going to college and working as a graphic designer for Chik-Fil-A, Phil felt God calling him out of his current life to pursue music full time.  So he left college and quit his job, said goodbye to the band he was in, and broke up with the girl he was dating seriously to follow God.  “Something magical happened when I did it, and God was in it. I quit everything and dove into music,” shares Phil.

Danyew began recording with producer Pete Kipley (Phil Wickham, MercyMe) as an independent artist, but everything changed when he was signed to Sparrow Records in December 2007.  Now working with a team, Phil maintained control over the recording, while also playing new artist showcases and other pre-release promotions.  Initially frustrated that it took so long to release the debut, Phil reflects, “I’m sort of glad because where I was at musically two years ago is a lot different than where I am now.  The album started out organic, sort of folky, and now it’s more electronic.” Influenced by artists such as Radiohead, Coldplay, Bjork, and Imogen Heap, Phil started playing piano three years ago and has become adept at using keyboards.  “On a musical level, I definitely want to try some more electronic stuff in the future,” he adds.

The organic-meets-electronic Danyew sound is best showcased in “Streetlight,” which starts out with a gripping cascading piano-driven melody.  An urbanite hailing from San Diego, Phil finds the streetlights that line the curvy road near his home to be a beautiful illustration for life.  “The song [“Streetlight”] is about the things in our live that guide us down the road, like God and His love,” explains Phil, then adding. “If we didn’t have streetlights, we wouldn’t know where we were going.”

One of Phil’s favorite songs, “Close Your Eyes,” was born out of a desperate search that began when he started his first semester at a local college.  Growing up in church and attending Christian school from grades 5-12, Phil was thrust out of his self-described Christian bubble and into the world of higher learning, which caused him to question his beliefs about God and creation.  “It was a culture shock,” Phil remembers. “I thought, ‘Do I believe this because I grew up in it or do I believe it because it’s the truth? What if what these other people are saying is the truth?’  I started doubting God and the things I believed in.”

The questions kept rattling around inside Phil’s head, until one day, he stood in front of the mirror and asked aloud, “God, what is this life about?”  As he stared at his reflection he contemplated the complex inner workings of the human body.  “I was watching myself breath and I was like, ‘Wow! There was no way this could be chance.  My lungs are insightfully complex and they work perfectly’.”

Photo by Aaron Redfield

Interestingly, in 2007, Phil and his friend, filmmaker Chad Suter, crafted a video for “Close Your Eyes” that features a girl caught in the throes of drug addiction inter-cut with shots of Phil singing and playing piano.  Although not originally intended to be a song about addition, it works perfectly as a backdrop to the story being told through imagery, and it fits with the larger meaning of the song.  “At the end of the day, there is a hole in the heart that longs for more than living for self, partying, sex, drugs, even music,” says Phil.  The universal message of the song is that we’re connected to something bigger—God.

To Phil, music itself is a language that God has given people which transcends other boundaries that divide humanity.  “We know that God is love and that God created a language called music, and there’s something that supernaturally happens when music is raw [from the heart],” reveals Phil.  “I hope to inspire people with my music; I hope to inspire them to be creative and pursue their dreams.”

Soon Danyew plans to head to the studio to record more songs for the full-length album planned for release in late 2009, which he emphasizes will include “much more electronic stuff.”  And, incidentally, Phil is still working on a song for his sister, “After ‘Beautiful King, I never started another one for my sister.  I should though, because it would make her super happy.” In the meantime, Phil Danyew fans will be super happy to see him on the fall “Church Music Tour” headlined by David Crowder*Band and featuring special guest, Seabird.  To find a tour date near you, visit Danyew online at myspace.com/danyew.

The BSW Raven Awards:: Where Everyone Wins!

24 Apr

Now that GMA Week is over and the Dove Awards have been handed out, I can finally announce the winners of the Backseat Writer 1st Annual Raven Awards.  Here’s the thing with the Raven Awards, if you’re nominated, you win!  Of course, our winners don’t get a cool looking-trophy (maybe next year). Heck, half of ‘em won’t even know they won a Raven Award…but that’s not really the point.

The point, dear friends, is to nominate songs that have impacted my life and the lives of those around me throughout the past year.  Whether these are artists who are making it big or who are rockin’ the indie scene, they have all been meaningful to me.

Originally, I thought it would be funny to have my own awards to rival the Doves…and what’s the opposite of a white bird of peace?  The black bird of death!  Then I thought to myself, that’s not really the message I want to send.   But then I realized why ravens are among my favorite birds.  The book of Kings speaks of the prophet Elijah’s flight into the desert when he was fleeing for his life from Queen Jezebel, who promised to kill him.  While sitting under a broom tree, God provided His messenger with food delivered to him by ravens.  In this instance, ravens were used by God to bring life to His Child, who was in a very dark place (read my post “Fed by the Ravens”).  To me, being fed by ravens is be given a message from God Himself, delivered by a third party.

Thus, these are my “Ravens.”  Feel free to nominate anyone you think deserves a BSW Raven Awards in the comments section. You can share how this artist or song has impacted you.  Sorry, I just don’t have the energy to put links to everyone–do a Backseat Writer site–chances are that I’ve written about these artists. Oh, and we definitely needed some side art; I’m not favoring the artists whose pictures appear on this post!

(Artist pics from top to bottom:: Seabird, Tara Leigh Cobble, Josh Wilson, This Beautiful Republic)

Song of the Year

“Cinderella”—Steven Curtis Chapman
“For the Life of Me”-This Beautiful Republic
“Learning How to Die”—Jon Foreman
“Don’t Wash Your Hands of Me”—Alli Rogers
“Britney”—Bebo Norman
“Savior, Please”—Josh Wilson
“Listen Up”—Brandon Heath
“Rescue”—Seabird
“Hold My Heart”—Tenth Avenue North
“Still Young”-Shirock

Male Vocalist of the Year

Bebo Norman
Jon Foreman
Josh Wilson
Brandon Heath
Fernando Ortega

Female Vocalist of the Year

Alli Rogers
Francesca Battistelli
Dawn Richardson (Fireflight)
Tara Leigh Cobble

Band of the Year

This Beautiful Republic
Seabird
Leeland
Shirock
The Myriad

Album of the Year

Til We See The Shore—Seabird
Limbs & Branches—Jon Foreman
Empty and Beautiful—Matt Maher
Perceptions—This Beautiful Republic
Bebo Norman—Bebo Norman
Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup—Josh Wilson

If any of our winners want the world to know about his or her or their amazing award, please feel free to use this cool award jpg I designed!  It’s not a statue, but it’s pretty darn close. Congrats to all our award winners!

Amy’s Favorite Things (Take that, Oprah!)

13 Dec

By Amy Sondova Every year, Oprah Winfrey features a few of her favorite things on her daytime talk show (“Oprah’s Favorite Things“) and then adorns the audience with each and every one of her favorite things.  Well, I’m not Oprah, and therefore, cannot give all Backseat Writer’s readers samples of everything that I adore.  But I can tell you where to get ‘em.   Without further adieu, I bring you “Amy’s Favorite Things,” which I hope will help you as you finish shopping foryour favorite people this holiday season (and beyond.   These are timeless suggestions).

Altered Art Charm from TickleMePinkBoutique on Etsy.com

Altered Art Charm from TickleMePinkBoutique on Etsy.com

*Etsy.com—Have you visited this site?  It’s a entire craft show right on your computer screen with everything from Scrabble tile pendants to handcrafted shoes!  There are a plethora of cool things for guys and gals alike.  Don’t believe me, guys?  Check out some of the screen printed messenger bags and t-shirts.  There’s something for everyone, and unique is the bottom line.

*Music—Every year almost everyone on my Christmas list can expect to get a CD or two.  This year there are a few artists who are hot on my list—debut artist Josh Wilson and music veteran Bebo Norman.  Besides being two of the nicest and most open guys I’ve ever interviewed, they’re also great singer/songwriters who released albums this year.  Bebo Norman’s self-titled release, Josh Wilson’s Trying to Fit the Ocean in a Cup, and Jon Foreman’s Limbs and Branches are must-haves!  But perhaps you’re looking for something a little rockier, then look no further than Seabird’s ‘Til We See the Shore or This Beautiful Republic’s sophomore album, Perceptions.   If you want to support indie artists, then get lost in the vocals of Tara Leigh Cobble’s Playing Favorites or Justin McRoberts’ latest project, Deconstruction.  And here are a few more recommendations: Narrow Stairs – Death Cab For Cutie; What If We – Brandon Heath; The Nashville EP and the Bee Sides – Relient K;  Opposite Way – Leeland;  With Arrows, With Poise – The Myriad;  anything by Caedmon’s Call, Fernando Ortega, Phil Keaggy.

Limbs and Branches - Jon Foreman

Limbs and Branches - Jon Foreman

*Sock Monkeys & socks—Is it just me or are you always running out of socks, too?  Whether getting lost in the wash, stolen by a shih tzu who shall remain nameless (Maddy!), or developing ginormous holes, pairs of socks seem to lose their mate after a month or two.  Therefore, I wear a lot of mismatched socks–argyle, plaid, and all patterns funky are worn together and I become a candidate for “What Not to Wear”.  Besides becoming a fashion mishap, there are are only things to do with those single socks.  You could make sock

monkeys, of course! You don’t even have to limit yourself to monkeys, there are patterns for all kinds of creatures online (sock monster, sock owl).  Then you can sell your creations at etsy.com.  Or you could just buy a conventional sock monkey at sockmonkey.com.

*Digital Cameras—The first time I got my hands on a digital camera, I took pictures of everything in sight, and I haven’t stopped.  My first pictures weren’t that great; then again, my camera wasn’t that great.  Yet I treasure the images of my grandmother’s last Christmas with our family.  Buy yourself a camera to capture the moments that truly matter, and then buy one for someone else.  Check around for the best prices and give yourself a gift that goes far beyond an electronic device.  I highly recommend Canon cameras, but if you want to go a little cheaper, Olympus makes great cameras as well.

*Anything handcrafted by you—Maybe you’re not into making sock monkeys, but there are tons of other projects in which to immerse yourself.  Try your hand at crocheting or knitting (you can even use a knitting loom like the Knifty Knitter) and make everyone scarves, hats, and SOCKS!  (See what a valuable gift socks can be?)  You could paint a thoughtful picture or make a collage.  If you’re not crafty, melt chocolate wafers and dip some pretzels; chocolate-covered pretzels make great gifts!  If all else fails, just make your dad an ashtray like you did in kindergarten—he’ll still think it’s cute (hopefully!)

Psych - Season 2

Psych - Season 2

*Amazon.com—Free shipping on orders over $25 and books, music, and DVD’s galore.  Every year Amazon is adding to its inventory.  I check back every day to see what’s on sale so I can nab Psych Seasons 1 & 2, Bones Seasons 1-3, books like The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen, The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey, the chick-lit novels of my fave fictionista, Christa Banister and those aforementioned CD’s at discounted prices.

*Ebay.com—Whatever you can’t find on Amazon.com, you can find on Ebay.  There are literally millions of treasures on this site from low, low prices on video games to truly bizarre items like vintage hand towels.  But whatever you’re looking for, you can probably find it on Ebay.  You can also find a bunch of stuff you weren’t looking for, too.

*Michael’s, A.C. Moore, Joann’s—Craft stores are slashing their prices, and signing up for their e-mail newsletters allows customers to get even more coupons (especially if you don’t get them in your local newspaper).  Remember that camera I told you to buy?  You can get beautiful frames for those pics on sale at any of these stores for 40-50% off during the holiday season.  Plus, custom framing is 60% off (I say buy a frame and do-it-yourself!)  Not only that, but you can find deals on Christmas décor, craft kits for the kids, and nice gifts like candle holders and scented candles for your co-workers.  Even if you aren’t crafty, craft stores are a great place to shop for gifts.

Even though Black Friday has come and gone, you can still save money and give great presents to your loved ones…and those people you don’t really like that you still have to buy for.  We know Christmas isn’t all about the presents, but if you’re like me, you sure do like to get them (hey, I’m being honest here).  Plus, great presents show cleverness and creativity that has little to do with price and everything to do with thoughtfulness.  Our mere trinkets can never compare to the gift of God’s Son wrapped in humanity, so as we give to one another let us remember the greatest gift that mankind was ever given.

Click here to see all my my favorite things!

Seabird Sees the Shore

30 Jul

By Amy Sondova Many albums deal with complicated subjects, whether they are personal struggles, bittersweet memories, man’s attempts to understand God, or the complexities of relationships. Seabird tackles all these issues head-on with their debut album, Til We See the Shore (Credential) released in late June (read review). Hailing from Cincinnati (the Kentucky side) the Morgan brothers Aaron (vocals/keys) and Ryan (guitar), bassist Chris Kubik, and former drummer Aaron Hunt had an atypical beginning.

It all started when Hunt, the band’s co-founder, heard Aaron tickling the ivories on his father-in-law’s grand piano. “He approached me and asked if I wanted to start practicing some songs in his basement,” shares Aaron. “He was playing guitar and I was playing piano; it sounded horrible, so he switched to drums.” Adding in bass player Chris Kubik and a guitarist gave the piano-rock outfit a more solid sound.

However, Seabird experienced inner turmoil when their then-guitarist became dissatisfied with the direction of the band. Inspiring the bittersweet song, “Let Me Go On,” Aaron says, “It was definitely a difficult time because he was a friend of ours. It started as a friendship; it didn’t start as a band thing.” The song itself is about the power of a great song, shares Aaron, who says either the audience loves the music or not, but struggles for power often destroy great music. Aaron’s brother, Ryan, joined Seabird’s line-up two years later.

Right now, the band is looking for a drummer. They are currently using the talents of three different drummers to fill in for summer shows. Aaron Hunt left the band three weeks prior to lead singer Aaron Morgan’s interview with Backseat Writer. “It wasn’t a band situation; it was band timing,” shares Aaron, who was sad to see his friend leave. “We love him. We’re still friends and we support him in his decision.”

Despite these changes, Seabird has impressed audiences with a decidedly Britpop sound that also makes use of heaving guitar hooks, strong rhythms, and a solid piano/guitar base. The band’s first single, “Rescue,” co-written with Bear and Bo Rinehart of NeedtoBreathe, is resonating with listeners. “I felt like everything good I was trying to do was ending up in failure and only God could turn it into something beautiful and life-giving,” says Aaron, who then continues, “The chorus is calling out to God as rescuer. I know many times in my life I’ve felt like I’ve had no way out.”

The power of a song like “Rescue” isn’t solely for Christian audiences. “I have friends that aren’t Christians and it’s their favorite song. I think there’s something really ironic about that. Whether they hear the Christian message or not, they know what it’s like to feel defeated and the need to be rescued.”

Aaron also sees Seabird’s music as a chance to cross-over the great divide between Christian and non-Christians with the universal language of music. “Growing up in church, we would never turn our backs on the opportunity to play for a Christian audience. We’ve got such a responsibility to share the love of Christ with others. If we have a tool like music that can build relationships, I want to do that,” remarks Aaron.

By being approachable, Seabird wants to connect with others musically and personally, says Aaron, “The vulnerability of our songs gives listeners an open door into our lives. That’s something we take very seriously.” The band also strives to share songs that tell about real experiences, even if they are humiliating. Aaron draws much inspiration from his love story with a young woman, Celeste.

When Aaron wrote “Stronger” for his childhood sweetheart, he was only 17. “I wrote that before I was in Seabird or even before I thought about playing it for anyone. It was a way to get my emotions off the chest.” Knowing that the timing wasn’t “right” to confess his loving feelings to Celeste, the girl next door, Aaron poured his thoughts into songs.

After spending a year and a half at college and then getting in involved with YWAM (Youth With A Mission), Aaron serenaded Celeste with a special song written to celebrate her 20th birthday. “That’s when she knew I loved her,” shares Aaron, who admits that was his most nerve-wracking performance. “I waited my whole life to tell her that I loved her.” The couple married a year later, and now have a beautiful three year-old daughter, London.

“Being a boyfriend and being engaged are very different from being married,” explains Aaron as he talks about the album’s angriest song “Cottonmouth” (Jargon). “You have a lack of authority, but when you’re married you have the right to step in and protect your wife when there is an abusive or destructive relationship present.” The culmination of the song (and the story) is a celebration at the severing of a difficult, controlling association.

The melancholy ballad “Falling For You” is a softly romantic song Aaron wrote to comfort Celeste, who was grieving her parent’s divorce after 30 years of marriage. “Once I got married, I took on a lot of her hurt and abandonment and disappointment, and that’s what this song is about—finding refuge in a new love and a new family,” shares Aaron.

The album is also about finding refuge in God, in the belief that there is something worth fighting for, and an indelible hope in the spirit of man. The album’s title track beautifully sums up the entire album says Aaron. “I get this imagery of a ship full of sailors that get caught in a terrible storm. They’re nearly at the point of defeat and they decide that they’re going to fight for their lives against this storm.” That is, until they see the shore, a place of safety.

While it may seem that Til We See the Shore solely deals with heavy themes, there’s the marvelously upbeat “Maggie Mahoney,” a song about a girl who love to dance, but can’t seem to relate to others outside of dance class. “A couple of people have asked if Maggie Mahoney was an ex-girlfriend, but that’s definitely not true,” laughs Aaron, who then elaborates on the song. “We’ve actually never met Maggie, but we know about her from a friend who was in a dance class with her. He said that when they were in class, she was a lot of fun and had a great personality, but outside of class, she has a hard time being normal.” The real Maggie Mahoney has never heard the song or of the band, Seabird, for that matter.

Still, there are plenty of others who have been moved by the band’s lyrics, rocked out to the music, and found inspiration and hope in “Rescue.” As Seabird continues to play with their friends NeedtoBreathe, The Myriad, and This Beautiful Republic, they will instill the hope that the shore isn’t that far away.

Print copy of article.

Review: Til We See the Shore by Seabird

23 Jun

Seabird Album

6.24.08 Release

By Amy Sondova Is this a debut album? Because Til We See the Shore (Credential Recordings) doesn’t sound like many new recordings I’ve heard lately, at least not in Christian music. Drawing on Britpop influences and emulating the energies of such artists as The Beatles, Jeff Buckley, and The Dove, Seabird sounds like a group of seasoned pros.

The album’s instrumentation flows seamlessly as they sew together heavy guitar hooks, strong, driving rhythms, and a solid piano/guitar base. Because it is intriguing, Til We See the Shore begs for multiple listens to be understood musically, artistically, and lyrically. Why? Because the arrangements are that excellent. The album’s first single, “Rescue” (available as a free download until July 1.  Download here) is an intense song about the fervent need for a Savior. The opening lyrics state, “I’m pushing up daisies/I wish they were roses/I feel like I’m drowning/ But nobody knows it,” words which ring true to the desperate.

“Maggie Mahoney” drips with strains of modern-day swing as it twists and turns the listener with a dance of linguistics. The album’s title track, “Til We See The Shore” urges listeners to “Sing until your heart hurts and then sing some more/ Don’t stop singing until we reach the shore.” The song has melancholy undercurrents making way for a bridge of hope. There’s also the sadly romantic “Falling For You” and the more upbeat “Stronger.” Other notable songs include the haunting “Apparitions,” the bittersweet “Let Me Go On,” and the beautifully angry “Jargon.”

Of course, any track you land on with an album like this is going to be superb. Have fun exploring them all. Til We See the Shore by Seabird is one voyage you don’t want to miss!

Print copy of review.

Don’t forget to download “Rescue”, Seabird’s first single from Til We See the Shore here! (Available until July 1 at midnight)

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