Sea caves Announces February 5 Bright Forest Album Release
Portland band Sea Caves announces upcoming album Bright Forest, due out February 5, with the release of first single, “Spanning the River.” The instrumental layering is orchestral and intricate, swelling and receding as Shiloh Halsey’s vocals and flute weave around the tracklist like fleeting forest dwellers, teasing with somber, primal melodies.
The result is a broad yet cohesive collection of uplifting soundscapes evocative of the Pacific Northwest. Vocals washed with reverb glide beneath layers of guitars, flutes, and drums, creating a magical atmosphere infused with fractured images of nature, which the record’s title hints at. “There is a duality to the title,” says Halsey. “Bright Forest might be how some animal would refer to a city, or human civilization, looking down on it from the edge of the woods. It is wide-eyed with wonder, but there’s a sadness lingering beneath: it doesn’t understand that it is looking at the cause of its own destruction.”
Halsey’s fascination with nature’s enchantment and it’s intermingling with our personal stories shines through on Bright Forest. Songs like “Fault Lines” deliver lyrics like “Tall mountains thundered over/as we all stumbled to the lake/the air was swift and sending/messages and warnings to our heads,” creating a sense of mystery and unknowing about the natural landscapes that the album finds itself steeped in. Meanwhile, this song’s focus on an earthquake that levels a town harkens somber overtones, yet still carries the continually woven theme of new beginnings. The music mirrors this combination of beauty and tragedy, featuring syncopated drum and guitar tracks that drive songs like “Islands,” while demonstrating reflective moods and melodies in songs like “Urchins” and “Tigers.” In each song, a whimsical jubilance emerges under a veil of shadows as the flute chases notes, with hook-laden melodic vocals haunting every turn.
The album’s first single, “Spanning the River,” written after Halsey returned from a wildlife survey trip in the Cascades, delves deeper into nature’s unknowable power. Halsey sings, “There’s something about the immense unknowing/the main line to the source,” and this line drives the song deeper into wonder and obscurity. The interplay between flute and finger-style guitar conjure images of winding rivers, flowing down from mountains and into darker, hidden corners of the forest. Listening to all of this at once feels like being lost in a sea of trees, lakes and streams, while animals walk amidst all of it--their own city. The forest.
Bright Forest Track Listing
- Spanning the River
- Fault Lines
- Border Walls
- Stoned in the Road
- There’s This
About Sea Caves
Sea Caves includes Shiloh Halsey (vocals, guitar, flute), Cameron Jones (vocals, drums), Brian Nelson (bass) and Seiji Nair (keyboards). Jones and Halsey met in Portland, OR and began a series of travels north to the volcanic lands of Mount St. Helens. Inspired by the cataclysmic destruction and spectacular regrowth of this area, and how it reflected their own stories of rebuilding, they began writing music on these volcanic journeys. Sea Caves is now on the brink of releasing Bright Forest, a 12-song celebration and inquiry of introspection, social paradigms, and the Cascade mountains. An early version of the song "Stoned in the Road Again" was chosen for the 2014 PDX Pop Now compilation and recent shows have highlighted the band’s fine-tuned live sound and the growing anticipation of the long-awaited release.