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Leaves In The River

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 11, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

The songs on this debut full-length are awash with longing for distant places visited, lived, and loved, and are molded by the geography of singer/songwriter Alex Brown Church's past - the long, winding descent from the Sierra foothills to the hazy shores of the Barbary Coast. Lofting, arching melodies over foggy, elegiac pop and folk structures. The impression left by these songs lasts long after they've packed up and moved on. Produced by Phil Ek (The Shins, Built To Spill, Band Of Horses).
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 11, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Dangerbird Records
  • ASIN: B000UGG3IW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,370 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I reviewed the EP, Get to the River Before It Runs too Low, back in May. I wanted to reiterate how fantastic this artist/band is, and to encourage people to support indie music as innovative and unique as Sea Wolf.

As I mentioned in my review of the EP, Alex Church, the lead singer and founder of Sea Wolf, was a founding member of my favorite band, Irving. His songwriting skills are amazing. The LP just released is Leaves in the River, and as with the EP it perfectly showcases his ability to write beautiful and engaging songs. My personal favorite is still You're a Wolf, but every song he writes continues to find a way to burrow into my subconscious.

While I lament the fact that Alex is no longer with Irving, I rejoice in the beauty that is Sea Wolf and am so thankful he is still bringing new songs into the world. If you get a chance, do yourself a favor and go see Sea Wolf play live - they blew me away when I saw them play the noise pop festival.
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Format: Audio CD
Kudos to Alex Church and his ensemble of supporting musicians for adding a distinctive voice to the legions of modern story tellers, including bands such as Midlake, The Decemberists, and Cowboy Junkies. Mr. Church takes the universal themes of romance, angst, tragedy, and mortality and wraps them in an organic veneer, yet he avoid being maudlin, derivative, or trite. His images and metaphors have a haunting quality that despite their nod to the impermanence of things, linger beyond the final notes from these songs.

Thankfully, he has not tried to make this effort a one-man-band, for the cast of musicians playing his songs render then fresher and deeper than if Mr. Church had handled this work as a solo endeavor. Here's hoping for much music along these lines!
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The first song on this release settled over me like a cape of welcome shivers. I was sitting in a radio DJ booth with my DJ friend, and he put this on while nonchalantly handing me the paper case to read. I could barely concentrate, as the magic woven through this music had me at hello. You will likely not hear something so peaceful and dark, so gorgeous and difficult, so lovely and impossible to pigeonhole. It is low-fi music in some ways. This is not music to blast from your sound system and rumble down the road with. This music is like falling through dark glitter. In the rain. When it's cold but the cold is perfect. When it's dark but the dark is full of secrets.

There are stories here and these stories are at once familiar and utterly strange. They have happened to you but they haven't. It's this skill in weaving real life into waking dreams that will leave you sitting, as it left me sitting, unhinged/bewitched/inlove. I bought it right away and you might consider doing the same.

I could talk about the hushed velvet vocals that seem to confide in you. I could talk about the arrangements which leave so much breathing room that at times you feel suspended. I could talk about the lyrics which seem to confide something in you and yet leave you with questions. I could. But I think you should buy this CD and load it, turn the lights off, wish for rain, and fall into this world of sweet haunted tales.
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Format: Audio CD
I had already discovered the single "you're a wolf" on iTunes a while back and knew I would like the band. I had no idea how much this record would continue to grow on me. I have listened to it completely, end to end, at least 40 times know and it just doesn't get old. The last half of the record really starts to settle in. Saw them live in Seattle, they sound just as good in person.

Buy this album and but a second one for a friend!
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Format: Audio CD
Sea Wolf, the creation of Alex Brown Church, is simply amazing. I found myself purchasing this album after I fell in love with "You're a Wolf." The entire album is great. The songs are unique yet distinctly Sea Wolf. I'm not sure who you could compare these guys to. I found all of their songs to be rhythmic and beautiful. The lyrics are ripe with passion and substance. After I listened extensively and repeatedly to this album, I went and bought their second, which is just as good. If you're deciding between the two, go with Leaves in the River and it will open your eyes, ears, and heart (but especially your ears) like never before - and it will be so damn easy.
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Format: Audio CD
A coma, even a persistent one won't cut it. You will need to have been dead quite a while not to rate this as one of the best albums you have heard in years. For me, its the best thing since Everything All The Time from Band of Horses. Its also quite exceptional for every song being worth the effort of knowing it, and loving it. This is quite an extraordinary achievement, and I recommend it highly. I haven't bother to rate anything else, but for this........ the word needs to get out!
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This is a great album, filled with soulful lyrics which provoke rich images of solitude, nature, love and almost forgotten memories. There are some nice downbeat songs in which sea wolf sound like a moderately more cheerful bright eyes. Highly recommended.
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The lyrics are simply fantastic, as they are in their EP. The sixth song, You're a Wolf, was featured on their debut EP, earlier in 2007. I ended up buying both this and their EP also from 2007 because their music was so good.

The album starts of with a slow song, Leaves in the River, and it remains a mostly mellow album throughout. Middle Distance Runner was probably the single off of the album as it was what I heard on NPR's Cafe Tonight. Song for the Dead is pretty good, although it creeps out my kids for some reason. The sound of it could fit into a Tim Burton movie such as The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Cold, The Dark & The Silence is the penultimate song and is the best on the album. However, I highly recommend downloading the online-only bonus track called The Promise. I don't know why it didn't make it onto the album and it doesn't seem to be available on Amazon.com. I stumbled upon it on iTunes. It makes for a great 11th and final song for the album.

This album and their EP made it onto my Best of 2007 albums list at http://www.amazon.com/Best-Albums-of-2007/lm/R1TUKG73VXM141/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full
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