Sea glass is a natural wonder, a type of physically and chemically weathered glass, that’s naturally frosted and can take upwards of a century to settle into its unique shape, colour and texture. Sea Glass is also the brand-new musical collaboration between Matt Ashton of The Leaf Library and Melinda Bronstein. The pair met when they were both playing in indie-janglers Singing Adams, and Melinda would go on to join the expanded Leaf Library family further down the line.
Sea Glass spawned from Matt’s restless creativity; between writing for The Leaf Library, he found himself in possession of a series of improvised instrumental sketches, homeless, directionless, yet with a certain rough-hewn charm that warranted further exploration. Whether through kindness, or blind optimism, these ideas, with all their charming imperfections were given to Melinda, in the hope she might create something special from what was presented. From there, via an outpouring of Melinda’s words and melodies, the debut Sea Glass album, Shifts, was conceived. The record will arrive into the world next month, and today ahead of that release we’re sharing the first single from it, Splicing Shadows.
As an introduction to the album, Splicing Shadows is a striking declaration, a disorienting moment, simultaneously serenely beautiful and unnervingly idiosyncratic. It’s also in some ways remarkably simple, at its heart is a single repeated phrase on an acoustic guitar, it runs throughout, simultaneously the track’s heartbeat and breath. As the layers of stunning ethereal vocals dance around your headphones, it’s the guitar that anchors the listener, pulling you back down to earth, rooting you in reality, even when the unknown choir of angels seems far more enticing. The production and arrangement, courtesy of Firestation’s Mike Cranny, is stunning in its simplicity, creating a textural, spacious place in which the listener is given so much room to get lost in their own imagination.
While Splicing Shadows has reference points you’ll recognise, from those early semi-acoustic Warpaint recordings through to the majestic minimalism of Low or Grouper, it equally feels fresh and enticing. On this evidence, like the Sea Glass of their name, this is a band capable of clouded beauty; weathered, crafted and perfect in their imperfections, we can’t wait to discover more.
Shifts is out August 14th via Where It’s At Is Where You Are (WIAIWYA). Click HERE for more information on Sea Glass.