Ever since he left an early lineup of Black Dice ten years ago, Sebastian Blanck has made his way as a painter in New York City, all the while quietly, almost secretly, writing warm, personal pop songs away from view. That changed in 2007, when Sebastian’s brother Toby died in a drowning accident thousands of miles away. It was also the year that Sebastian’s first son, Hudson, was born.
Toby had talked of starting a label to release Sebastian’s songs. Robbed of his brother and co-conspirator, Sebastian suddenly found a new urgency to writing and recording, a process he likens to being parallel to painting: a single-mindedness bordering on obsession, blending focus and surrender to quiet the external world. Within this private space he crafted a narrative of loss as well as an emotional re-imagining of Toby’s last months, a time he had kept hidden from his family. What were the forces pushing and pulling him away from the life he had and the people he loved? These questions could have been a dialogue never had, but Sebastian was left to re-create it alone.
All of Sebastian’s roles in life — father, husband, brother and son as well as painter and songwriter — come into play on Alibi Coast. In his paintings he’s a great storyteller, crafting scenes of single moments that unfurl into the past and future. Much the same way, Alibi Coast is a record of open-source love songs, a narrative of one or more relationships moving into and through dysfunction, brushstrokes becoming penstrokes and melodies. Even though there are specific experiences within these 12 songs, anyone with a heart will recognize their own hope, yearning and love in every song. There is sadness here, but Alibi Coast is not a sad record; moment to moment and song to song, its emotion, color and shading change, like a precious stone turning over in your hand. Recommended!
Sebastian Blanck - Thunder
Sebastian Blanck @ MySpace
SONG OF THE DAY: Emily Jane White - Liza
(from Victorian America, out April 27th on Milan Records)
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