The Sea The Sea,
The TVD First Date

“Since I was a kid, I have been drawn to music. The way I could feel it move through my whole body. The way it could re-shape my brain waves. The way it connected me to the people in the room who I was listening with. Music, I later learned, was one of the few things in life that delivers a ‘complete’ experience.”

“I’ve been on board with Spotify from very early on. Streaming is easy and the collection might as well be infinite. I was a regular user right away. I am grateful for it, as a listener and as a working musician. But for all of the convenience that streaming offers, a complete musical experience it is not. Unlike vinyl, it’s a bit like listening in one dimension.

My experience of music, from a really young age, was largely visual. As a kid, I’d lay on the floor and stare at album art for the duration of an entire album. I’d read every lyric and every word of every liner note. I became familiar with the names of the producers and engineers. I’d inspect and analyze every photograph as if there were some mystery in there to be solved or unlocked, about the music, about the artist, about everything. The music was all magic to me. A big mystery. The.Big.Mystery. It was clear to me that in the music there were answers. Whether I could find them or not, was clear to me that I’d gladly spend the rest of my life looking for them and listening.

My parents had a strange and eclectic collection of vinyl. I remember sitting way too close to giant speakers in the living room, when I was probably 5 years old, completely engulfed by Barry Manilow’s silk voice, looking at his giant face on the cover, bigger than mine, and thinking he looked a lot like my dad and that he was probably someone I could trust.

I remember looking at the cover of John Coltrane’s Blue Train and wondering what he was wondering about. Was he looking for answers too? Couldn’t be, he clearly had found them already. Elton John, Chicago, The Beatles all created a little universe of their own that I could invite myself into. I remember the iridescent green and red cover of the Alvin and The Chipmunks’ Christmas album. Every year that season was shaped as much by that cover as it was by the songs on the album.

I was a little late in coming back to vinyl. For the last few years, Mira and I have been growing our collection. We were gifted a sweet player called a Gramovox for our wedding with a vertical or ‘floating’ turntable. A good friend soon after gave us a pair vintage speakers and a receiver that he’d pulled from a trash heap and refurbished.

Since then, when we’re on tour, we make local record shops a fairly regular stop in a new town and try to find something to bring home with us. Hopefully one day our record collection will become a sort of a map of places we’ve been. We’ve collected albums that have become staples on certain long stretches of road. Alabama Shakes’ Sound and Color, James Blake’s debut album, and Andrew Bird’s I Want To See Pulaski At Night to name a couple always in heavy rotation.

Listening to vinyl not only encourages a deeper listen, it insists on it. For that we are grateful, especially in this digital age. Grateful for a more complete experience and for all of the questions and answers to be found within it. For me, that’s what music is all about.”
Chuck Costa

Stumbling Home, the third full-length release from The Sea The Sea arrives in stores on August 28, 2020—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: KIKI VASSILAKIS

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