The sixth album from Belfast’s dream-pop three-piece Sea Pinks is a bittersweet outing of jangling guitars, but with some surprises
Belfast-based three-piece Sea Pinks have been creating their dream pop since 2010. Listeners of their last album, 2016’s Soft Days, will be familiar with the jangling guitars, buoyant choruses and the band’s tight delivery. They will also be pleased to hear that Watercourse picks up exactly where Soft Days left off.
This LP opens with Sea Pinks’ distinctive treble heavy guitar, bouncing bass and alluring drums, which sets the tone for what is a fast-paced album. The band had originally planned to make an EP when they assembled at Belfast’s Start Together Studio, but as vocalist and guitarist Neil Brogan says: “We went in for a couple of days. Then it was a couple more and a couple more, and by autumn we had about 16 songs recorded, which we eventually pared down to 10.”
By their own admission, Sea Pinks are a singles band. Each song stands on its own as a perfect gem of guitar-pop. However, the downside is that the album lacks cohesion. The two sides of the LP are distinctly different. The first side of Watercourse brings us Sea Pinks woozy-guitar based dream-pop. The second side strikes a slightly harder-edged, bittersweet, brittle-punk influenced tone. The urgency of the second side of the album is a welcomed contrast to the first. Playin’ For Pride is a good example of the different tone exhibited by Sea Pinks. It’s a style which suits the band, and is reminiscent of The Feelies and Best Coast.
Watercourse is an easy album to listen to, but when the record stops spinning you’ll be hungry for an album with more depth and cohesion.
Verdict: Breezy jangle-pop