British Sea Power

This week’s band of the week is from across the pond. They’re a band with a big anthemic sound that’s moving and majestic and will swing your heartache beautifully. I was listening to them on the pod while marching over to my friend Charlotte’s goodbye-bonfire (I’m not going to see her for a good, long time now cuz she’s on a hitchhiking trip across Canada and by the time she gets back home I’ll be up in Halifax) and it was just fantastic. More on their sound in a bit, this week’s band of the week is…


Hopefully many of you already know BSP but if not, you’re in luck, cuz once you listen to them they’ll blow your brains out of your bumholio. These brits released their first album, The Decline of British Sea Power, in 2003 to wide acclaim but not much press over in North America. A shame, because they were totally ahead of their time, playing anthemic indie rock before The Arcade Fire got huge. The first album displayed a love of the Pixies, Joy Division and My Bloody Valentine and it’s first half is more spastic and Frank Black-esque with the second half containing the more drifting, pretty songs like “Carrion” and “Fear of Drowning”. Their second and third albums (2005’s Open Season and 2008’s Do You Like Rock Music?) left behind most of the Pixies influence, with Open Season focusing more on prettier, softer songs and DYLRM basically blatantly attempting to out-anthem The Arcade Fire.

Many of the band’s lyrics are poetic meditations on life and politics. Allusions to water and escaping to the peace of the ocean are quite common as well. Then again, some songs like “No Lucifer” off DYLRM are just random words thrown together with no particular meaning. Regardless, you probably won’t pay much attention to the lyrics other than the one’s that really jump out like “The salt, the spray, the gorgeous undertow/Always, always, always the sea/Brilliantine mortality” in “Carrion” or “Oh it left my heart broken/ It took my breath away/ A lesson open/ A little more each day/ A little eyesore/ A little Nytol/ A little heartache/ A little soothe-all,” in “To Get To Sleep”.

Listen, find someway to hear these albums because they’re huge and beautiful. Get them onto your ipod and go for a run and you’ll feel like the seraphim are uplifting you unto a land of glory. Don’t pay attention to the title of the first album, there’s no decline here, BSP has power to spare.

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