With their latest release, Apple Of My Eye have created a world of sea-faring and adventure filled with beautiful harmonies
ometimes you hear an album that is impossible to date and Seven Tides by Apple Of My Eye is definitely one of those albums, standing outside of current trends and sounding as if its songs are as old as the sea they sing of. Described by the band as “folk music for the drunks, the drowned and the lost at sea” listening to this collection of shanties and traditional ballads is like opening a treasure chest of lost secrets from a past not quite forgotten.
From the opening three tracks, Don’t Go To The Sea, Easter Island and Burn Sir! it is clear that Seven Tides is inspired by the ocean and all the adventure and hardship that a life of sea-faring brings with it. It would be easy for lyrics such as Easter Island‘s “It was four in the morning/ on a churning sea/ and I was up on the poop deck/ just my baby and me” to sound twee and affected but somehow, through a combination of songcraft and commitment to the yarn, it ends up being entirely convincing.
What raises the album to crow’s nest heights is the group’s sublime harmonies, with Ellie Rusbridge’s captivating voice blending with those of her five male bandmates throughout. On Murmuration the weaving of instruments and vocals impressively matches the dance made by the starlings referred to in the song’s title. The a capella opening to Ghost Of The Drowned and the final segment of Trenches highlight just how exquisite their voices can be, all the while still sounding like a pub singsong rather than the result of any studio trickery.
On Seven Tides, Apple Of My Eye manage to sound both unique and authentic. It is a masterclass of story-telling through music and will appeal to fans of The Decemberists as well as followers of the ever-growing East London folk scene. Like a healthy ration of rum, this is music that will warm your insides and keep you awake until you reach the safety of land.
Verdict: Salty sea dogs and landlubbers alike will find something to enjoy here.