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The best kept secret in music


"Stranger Review by Megan Seling"

SEA.MINE (High Dive) Tonight Sea.Mine celebrate the official release of their new album, Does Anyone Else Miss the Cold War?, which has actually been available as a limited-edition handmade release for the better part of the fall. Cold War follows up the band's debut EP, Divorce Letters, and boasts an even more sturdy, pretty rock crossed with Wilco, R.E.M., and Sebadoh influences. Ian Bell's vocals have the same creamy smoothness as the Catherine Wheel's Rob Dickinson, and their brand of melodic indie rock is also reminiscent of another beautiful local (Seattle) band, Verona. There's subdued but strong piano, dynamic shifts in volume and mood, and most importantly, enough of a hook to keep the songs in your head long after the last note rings. MEGAN SELING - The Stranger

"Divorce Letters"

"sea.mine beats up REM"

So you know that awful album REM put out about a year ago? Of course you don't – it was miserable. It was worse than drowning. The only attention it gets these days is a prominent place on a clearance rack. It was called "Around the Sun." For the longest time I kept thinking about how a band like REM managed to write such a shit album. It troubled me, even. They had all the tools and know-how to redeem themselves; the band is a mature and seasoned outfit and they should've settled into that grandfather status with some amount of grace and even the occasional good album.

Why then did a nascent local band do everything that REM should have done?

Whatever. I'm not even gonna answer that. And frankly, I'm sick of holding the shift key down three letters at a time.

To call the boys of sea.mine "local" is an understatement. I am writing this in a cafe in the Art building. If I walk quickly, I could stand at the very spot where frontman Ian Bell met bassist Scott Teske in less than thirty seconds. SEA.MINE CRED 1UP.

One of the most striking things of their new EP, Divorce Letters, is the refreshing sincerity and simplicity of the songs. They're not doing anything revolutionary; Divorce Letters isn't going into the annals of pop music achievement. But this EP is just what my confused and battered ears needed: an unassuming singer/songwriter styled band that stands on solid ground. Bell's just slightly coarse voice soarsand descends, carrying the band's sound well. The crunchy, catchy and nuanced guitar work is engaging and gives your foot something to tap about. Add Coldplay to the list of bands that could learn something from sea.mine.

The opening track, "When All You Can Do Is Feel," isn't quite as sensual as you might think. However, it is indicative of sea.mine's approach, with a lazy, groovy guitar breakdown and inspired rock fills. "Rebel," the third track on the five-song EP walks a well-crafted balance of imaginative structure and accessibility. One of the band's strengths is their ability to back the cadence of Bell's vocals; as he belts a line of chorus each instrument plays to his vocal direction. However, each track seems to stay within certain confines – no song ever feels a touch uncomfortable or in pursuit of a new idea. This confidence is certainly admirable in sea.mine's young age, however, I've always appreciated a song or two that really challenges a listener.

Divorce Letters shows a band very much in control of their art, hinting at considerable promise. More so than Michael Stipe, anyway.

Review By: alan hbh - Alan H - Rainy Dawg Radio

"Talk Talk"

By Michaelangelo Matos

When did Sea.Mine, your excellent indie-pop band, begin?

Scott Teske (bassist): Our earliest incarnation was in February 2004. We were a trio; there's four of us now.

On your MySpace page, you list nine auxiliary members.

Teske: It's a little bit confusing. At the core, we're a rock trio, but we want a bit bigger sound, so we fill it out with guest musicians. We like to try anything. All those musicians perform with us live. In the studio, we stick with the core, but in order to replicate a lot of the things we do [on record], we invite other people to play with us.

When did you start writing songs?

Ian Bell (vocals and guitar): When I was 17. I'm 25 now. I'd never played an instrument before; it was mainly a crutch to get out ideas I had, emotionally.

Is that still the case, or do you approach it more cerebrally now?

Bell: I've learned a lot from Scott, because he grew up playing music and he's got a lot of background when it comes to the science and art of music.

When did you two meet?

Bell: We both [attended] U-Dub and met two or three years ago. We were both working on campus and [had] never made a musical connection until one day I decided to put together a band. I met him in the quad. He was carrying his bass. We both worked in the dorms: I worked in Hagget Hall as an R.A., which was as cool as it sounds, and he was down in the Mercer dorm. I was a senior, and he was a junior. He was studying for performance in upright bass, and I was going for a degree in wildlife biology in the school of forestry.

Do you break out weird biology facts to stump your bandmates with?

Bell: Occasionally! I study science because it's my own interest—I knew I was never going to do anything with it. My minor was quantitative science, which is another way of saying statistics. I get interested in mathy things, but nothing too crazy. I occasionally bring up fun facts.

Teske: Yeah, you do! We'll just be talking and he'll bring up a random fact about a little-known animal or whatnot, when we're rehearsing or when we're just hanging out.

Has this brought the band to any kind of realization, musically?

Teske: His science factoids? I wouldn't say that. - Seattle Weekly


Divorce Letters EP - 2005
Taste This NW Album One (Compilation) - 2005
Does anyone else miss the Cold War?" - 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


sea.mine's unique and widely appealing sound is best described as a cohesive blend of its parts. With influences ranging from the Smiths, REM, Pearl Jam and Wilco, sea.mine is a truly intelligent crossover indie-pop band.

Bell’s powerful presence and the band’s highly energetic stage performance has garnered them a passionate and loyal following that is growing rapidly.

The release of their debut EP, Divorce Letters on Seattle’s B.R.A.D. Music label, in September of 2005 was warmly received and sales have been steady. Three of the tracks were licensed for the television series “Home Team” and a yet to be titled independent film. Innovative and influential Seattle radio station KEXP, as well as Bellingham’s KUGS, has featured the single “Shoulder to Thigh” on their playlists. CD sales in local record stores and on-line have exceeded expectations for a initial EP release.Critics of the "Divorce Letters" CD found sea.mine "refreshing". Four the five tracks on "Divorce Letters" were licensed for nationally syndicated television shows.

In November of 2005, sea.mine was asked to contribute a song to the Taste This NW compilation CD to benefit homeless youth service organizations. Bell wrote a track specifically for the release entitled “Where Horses Dream”. The producers of the CD were thrilled with the original track and featured sea.mine at the CD release event at Seattle’s “Triple Door”.

Work on their debut full-length record, "Does Anyone Else Miss The Cold War", began in February 2006. Josh Evans, an assistant engineer with Pearl Jam, brought them to Seattle's legendary London Bridge Studios. Recorded in just eight days in early April, Evans was able to capture the live spark that sea.mine communicated on stage with the majority of the recording done "live".

Evans and Greg Williamson, engineer and co-producer of Sunny Day Real Estate and The Fire Theft, as well as Jeremy Enigk's two solo releases, created the mixes both bringing out the sound that is uniquely sea.mine.

Jeremy Enigk, upon hearing the material was inspired to participate in the project. Enigk's vocals can be heard on the single "Me and My William" as well as "Leave".

In stores now - "Does anyone else miss the Cold War?" is already garnering critical acclaim.

You can also visit sea.mine at