Tag Archives: til we see the shore

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.)

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)

%d bloggers like this: