The Calm Blue Sea
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The Calm Blue Sea

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"WOXY Blog - "This Just In""

If you hear the words “instrumental rock” and “Austin, TX” in the same sentence, it’s pretty hard not to reference Explosions In The Sky. After all, the band has become well known in the past few years for their anthemic brand of post-rock. But forget what you know about Austin and Instrumental Rock, because The Calm Blue Sea are fully prepared to change that.

While they may get grouped together with EIS often because of reasons already stated, The Calm Blue Sea do more than stand up on their own feet on their debut self titled album. The more appropriate term you should be hearing or reading when the band is described is “beautiful”, because that is the word I could not get out of my mind when listening to the soaring tunes on this record.

Providing the perfect backdrop for a film soundtrack or whatever you might be doing at the time, this album is not only atmospheric and at times ambient, but flat out rocks in places as well. Be prepared for deep reaching epic songs from this 6 song album, all of which clock out in the 7-9 minutes range (with one exception). The highs and lows are equally intriguing on the album, building from an area of gentle tones to a full out post-rock epic.

Keep an eye on The Calm Blue Sea, 2009 could be a great year for these guys.

"15 Great Bands We'd Never Really Heard of Before SXSW"

The Calm Blue Sea
The comparisons are easy (Explosions in the Sky comes to mind), but the Calm Blue Sea's epic thunderings are far too beautiful to dismiss. I just didn't want to see an end to the Austin band's gracefully stormy, mostly wordless set.
- Esquire

"NPR Song of the Day - The Calm Blue Sea: Beautiful Buildup, Pummeling Payoff"

To put it lightly, words aren't the most important component of "Literal," a powerhouse rock epic by the Austin band The Calm Blue Sea. A few vague phrases — most revolving around the phrase "You were so literal" — pepper two of the song's first three minutes, after which "Literal" billows wordlessly into a majestic wonder.

Comparisons to Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky are inevitable here. At varying times, The Calm Blue Sea — which continues to tour behind a self-titled debut its members released themselves back in 2008 — unmistakably mixes the stately churn of the latter and the careening bombast of the former. But comparisons are beside the point here: What matters is the beauty in both the graceful buildup and the pummeling payoff. At nearly eight minutes, "Literal" moves through so many phases and changes, and achieves such elegance and power in the process, that it's actually a shame to hear it end. - NPR

"Instrumental Analysis s/t album Review"

For Austin musicians, it must be difficult not to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre of music. One band emulates Spoon, while another is compared to Trail of Dead and so forth. So many bands and solo artists reside, come through or cut their teeth in the ATX, you almost have to fall into one category or another. When I first listened to the mostly-instrumental self-titled album from The Calm Blue Sea, I immediately labeled them as followers of another Austin instrumental band, Explosions In The Sky. That may be the influence of EITS producer Erik Wofford, but do not think that is a bad thing. They have grabbed the attention of many Austin and Texas publications, like Austinist and Soundcheck Magazine. The Austin Chronicle named The Calm Blue Sea one of the best experimental bands in Austin, along with Ghostland Observatory and The Octopus Project.

Set to be released September 30, this album is a sonic experience. Every song is an epic, the shortest track being a little over five minutes long. Individually, each track is its own micro-symphony. The calm beginning of the opening track "We Happy Few" builds quickly into a complete wall of sound, then just a fast, recedes back into a soft roll of piano and guitar to crescendo once again. The veiled vocalizations in "Literal" add a haunting element to dark, almost disturbing cacophony of feedback and hard-driving riffs that create the major theme of the song. The final song, "This Will Never Happen Again", is the defining piece of the album. Featuring what sounds like an audio diary that is barely audible over the guitar and hum of bass, the music slowly builds in volume to a dream-like, trance-inducing quality, then breaks down into a menacing military style march with heavy percussion and feedback laden guitars. This is a worthwhile pick-up for experimental instrumental music fans and a good introduction to the genre for the uninitiated. - Instrumental Analysis (Washington, DC)

"Chicago Show Live Review"

I told you I had an amazing few days with lovely musical people. Well, along with spending some quality time with The Calm Blue Sea (who put on a really wonderful show for what turned out to be a disappointingly small crowd of us) I met two guys who make up The Soil and The Sun. I want to tell you all about them, but first, the four really cool guys from Austin, TX. I don’t want to take away from what The Calm Blue Sea did and traveled so far to do for us lucky few here in Chicago. And let me say, their final number, Literal was phenomenally good and even if it hadn’t been dedicated to me, I’d have been wow’d by it! The venue was small and underpopulated. The floor was shiny and surrounded by mirrors so playing with electricity and amplifiers was particularly tricksy, I was told. Chris took his shoes off mid-song on the first number, which puzzled but amused me and lent a sort of homey, casual air to the whole non-event, event. The Calm Blue Sea didn’t play a long set, as there were four acts on the bill Saturday night and they wanted to give everyone fair time. That’s a typical Chicago practice, unfortunately, booking so many bands into one night, and while the bar thinks they might come out ahead it really does no favors to the musicians. Chicago really sucks for indie bands, I’m afraid to say. So, if you can do anything for a band coming through town, please go ahead and buy them a beer, put them up on your sofa, eh?

Back to the positive! These Austin guys rocked out! Two really creative guitarists, a solid, strong all-over-the-neck kinda bass player and a drummer who knows just when to hit it hard, and right, and sweet. The Calm Blue Sea has an array of songs that capture your imagination. Musically, I find myself working hard to remember that playing like that is NOT as effortless as they make it out to be. In other words, they make it look so easy to produce these complicated, beautiful, yet also clearly delineated cathedrals of songs. There’s a really dense writer that I studied in college, whose work was described as being structured grammatically like cathedrals. Each sentence was complexity built on complexity; from a foundation of an idea it increasingly spiraled out of control in layers of theoretical complications , so that by the end of the paragraph-long sentence you had lost the point, way up in the towers of it and had to go back. But if you did, you could see how it made sense. The more you read him, the more you knew what to look for and after about 1200 pages or so it became quite easy to wade through the architecture of it all. The Calm Blue Sea does this with music but they clear the path from the beginning so that there’s no need to go back. As the song is wrapping up, you hear that refrain you heard at the start, perhaps down a third or up a fifth or something. But it’s there, connecting the whole back together again. In the middle is this tangle of smaller excursions and spirals of flourishes and other places they go and circle round again. And as it builds and falls, Chris rises off his chair, Kyle grooves in and out, inching closer and further away from the center, and Aaron (who is joining them from the great band Cougar, for this tour) often crouched down to his controls, provides amazing cover with a dense and intricate array of guitar stylings. All the while Steve lays in wait for the perfect moments to pounce with his sticks or brush or foot pedal and his drums carry every everyone off and on their way.

I have to say, Miska’s isn’t the first choice of venues in this town. But all four acts that night gave great performances and it was a beautiful night of music. Crooks and Children were engaging and interesting as they were the last time I saw them. I’m always intrigued by their switching of instruments after every song. For a band to be so versatile as that, it’s wonderful to hear so much variety and talent. I’ve got a few of their CDs on my pile and a more thorough review is in order and on its way!

The Calm Blue Sea is halfway through their tour, do go and catch their show. You’ll certainly not regret it and talk to them before or after the show, they’re a great group of guys! - Love Shack, Baby (Chicago, IL)

"Salad Days Music "Band To Watch""

Okay, these guys have been on my radar for some time now and I regret having waited this long to do a “band to watch” post over them.

The Calm Blue Sea are a five piece from Austin, Texas. They sent me a copy of their recently released self titled album and I think I listened for a week straight. Me listening to something for a week straight is quite a testament to the album because great new music is always at my fingertips.

On the album the band seems to find ways to layer numerous instruments to create these magnificent walls of sound that feel like they could come crashing down at anytime. This makes for a wonderfully exhausting listen that is hard to find in a lot of albums. I imagine this wall of sound translates nicely into their live shows. Unfortunately haven’t had the opportunity to see them live, but I hope that changes with my next visit to Austin.

The album clocks in at right around 45 exhausting minutes, and though you are spent from the first listen you can’t wait for the second. - Salad Days Music (Oklahoma)

"Bygone Bureau 08 Best Local Albums"

Ana Wolken of Austin Soundcheck

5. The Calm Blue Sea – The Calm Blue Sea
Not since Explosions in The Sky has an instrumental rock band captured the attention of so many Austinites. Relative unknowns compared to the rest of this list, the Calm Blue Sea gets major points for stretching the bounds of their genre. Intense, melodic, and well written, this album leaves little doubt that a savvy label will soon sign the band.

4. The Black and White Years – The Black and White Years
Produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads fame, this new wave-influenced album has rocketed the Black and White Years to prominence in Austin’s indie hipster scene. Don’t let that fool you, though. This self-titled release is good enough to transcend the hipster pigeonhole.

3. The Sword – Gods of the Earth
Austin is not usually noted for it’s rock scene, but the Sword is quickly changing that reputation. The buzz from Gods of the Earth has earned them a spot touring with Metallica, which is a perfect fit. Gods of the Earth is a well-crafted hard rock/metal album that will win over even the most cynical of rock fans.

2. Dan Dyer – Dan Dyer
Dyer’s first album since returning to Austin, this self-titled release is pure neo-soul goodness. If you took some old school Stevie Wonder and mixed it with Jamiroquai and some classic Austin blues, you’d get Dan Dyer. He played Austin City Limits and Voodoo Fest this year and seems poised for bigger and better things.

1. Ghostland Observatory – Robotique Majestique
Ghostland Observatory is by far one of the most successful indie bands from Austin right now. Robotique Majestique illustrates why. The album is packed from start to finish with songs that make you move. It’s dance music with an organic edge and people can’t seem to get enough (this blogger included!).
- Bygone Bureau (Austin, TX)

"Austin Chronicle s/t album Review"

The Calm Blue Sea

Like Austin's other descriptive instrumentalists Explosions in the Sky, local fivepiece the Calm Blue Sea reaches into the quiet/loud/quiet bag of tricks on its self-titled debut, coming up with a darker, wetter beast. The length of songs certainly doesn't absolve the band of its "cinematic" proclivities, but the CBS manages to layer its parts with precision, using a knife to transition. "Now Those Ashes Are at the Bottom" spins the album's best example: The chiming blue intro is interrupted by a rumble of bass, which flows into a rough, gray middle half, building seamlessly on echoing guitars and warm keys, and gets a running start into its final white squall of noise. On this song alone, the Calm Blue Sea uses its left and right brains to full effect. (CD release: Saturday, Oct. 4, Emo's.)

BY AUDRA SCHROEDER - Austin Chronicle (Austin, TX)

"Austinist SXSW 09 Interview"

Austinist Presents Local Music Is Sexy 7 this Saturday @ the Pure Volume House

We caught up with The Calm Blue Sea recently for a quick status check -- the interview continues after the jump!

See you this Saturday at the Pure Volume House!

When did the Calm Blue Sea form & how did you guys meet each other?

The Calm Blue Sea: Spring 2007. Some of us have been friends since childhood, some of us met playing in various bands here in town, and some of us came from Craigslist.

Is Local Music Sexy in Austin in the year 2009?

Having ventured out of town for several shows already in 2009, we can safely say that local music is sexier in Austin than anywhere in this country.

What other Austin bands do you guys like?

We're obligated to list the other bands that we play in: Sea Legs, Murdocks, Hard Proof Afrobeat, and Frank Smith. Beyond that we tend to enjoy The Frontier Brothers, This Will Destroy You, The Boxing Lesson, The Great Nostalgic, The Eastern Sea, The Midgetmen, Black Before Red, The Lemurs, Balmorhea...the list goes on. Plus all of the many side bands that have been started by members of Zykos, The Black Angels, and Sound Team. And although everyone compares us to Explosions in the Sky, we're not afraid to admit that we like them too.

What is the band's plan for the week of SXSW 2009?

1) Play shows. 2) See bands. 3) Drink free drinks. 4) Get noticed by a major label and get tons of money. (That still happens at SXSW right?)

Top 5 must see bands at SXSW 2009?

1) Caspian, 2) Tallest Man on Earth, 3) Department of Eagles, 4) We Were Promised Jetpacks, 5) Frodus.

Favorite bars or eateries you would suggest tourists to visit during SXSW 2009?

The Mohawk is our favorite place to drink. Chief’s BBQ is our favorite place to eat (specifically their sandwich called “The Homer”). Our drummer Steve Bidwell has visited every establishment in this town, so if any out of towners need a better guide find us online, and he will write you a book. But there's no time for that here.

Thank you for speaking with Austinist. - (Austin, TX)

"Now Like Photographs - "Siegfried" Album of the Week"

Records of the Week
The Calm Blue Sea – Siegfried: An Original Score

While last week’s featured record was an actual score to a newly released film, this week’s is an imaginary soundtrack to a classic film. The Austin group The Calm Blue Sea aren’t the first to demonstrate the powerful correlation between post-rock and cinema, but their musical interpretation of Fritz Lang’s (he of Metropolis fame) 1924 fantasy epic shows some of the most consistent and moving examples of just how perfect thundering drums and soaring guitars can sound when placed in the context of big bountiful storytelling. The addition of warmly intense Rhodes piano to the mix only makes their sound that much more vivid and inviting. They have performed the score live in their hometown of Austin and are currently on tour (with a 09/03 stop at Big V’s in St. Paul). If all goes well, who knows, maybe they’ll be back in town at a theater venue to play the score for us Minnesotans. We can only dream. And so can you, via a free track on the nowlikephotographs podcast. - Now Like Photographs (Minneapolis, MN)

"Victory Rose "Siegfried" Review"

The Calm Blue Sea - Siegfried, An Original Score

Where to begin? Let me begin by saying that this is for me, one of the best albums I heard for many years (its just my opinion but . . .) In the genre of post Rock in which it has its roots then I would have to say it has some serious contentions to become my all time favorite. Just when I thought the genre of Post Rock was on its way out, 'Siegfried' appeared.
Its not easy to describe how good this album really is, but having listened to it twice, back to back, all the way through (which I have never done with an album before) I find myself totally satisfied with the experience. Its not just that every element of this works, its how it works, each track is a journey in itself in true Post Rock glory but they are tied together with a common theme, a theme which speaks of such confidence and joyful exuberance its quite breathtaking to hear. Throughout the 96 minutes you find yourself in moments which remind you of Explosions in the Sky, Mono, Pink Floyd, Ambient, minimalism, space rock, and more. Its such an amazing journey of gorgeous music
The concept behind the album is that the band wrote it to be played live over the 1924 classic film 'Siegfried' The thought of the band playing this live over the course of the 96 minutes is deeply impressive. The album itself has 17 tracks which over its 2 CD's lasts for 96 minutes. Its due to be released on August 18th and has a very limited run of hand numbered 200 copies. Its being offered at an amazing rate. Be sure to order now before they run out.
Chris kindly allowed me to choose 2 songs from the album for you to enjoy. I also included a video with the songs. Thanks to Chris and I hope you enjoy this Epic piece of music. - Victory Rose Music (UK)

"Lonely Vagabond Toronto Live Show Review"

A sonic landscape that falls somewhere in between virtuosic post-rock and shoegaze heaven. Reminiscent of Explosions In The Sky and Godspeed You Black Emperor, this Austin four-piece navigates through swirly shimmering crescendo’s, rising with full-force towards a volcanic eruption of starburst guitar-noise. A galactic head-trip that’s hypnotic and colossal. - Lonely Vagabond (Canada)


The Calm Blue Sea LP (2008/2011, Modern Outsider Records)
Siegfried: An Original Score (2009, self-released)
Arrivals & Departures (2012, Modern Outsider Records)



Some facts about The Calm Blue Sea (aka the short bio):

*Signed to Modern Outsider Records
*Official 2011 & 2012 SXSW and 2011 NXNE showcasing act
*Over 320,000 plays from over 26,000 listeners
*The band has played plenty of shows, in plenty of cities, with plenty of great bands. More details here.
*Their music has been licensed by ESPN, Jack Daniels, TED, American Legacy Foundation, Austin City Limits Live, and numerous independent films such as "Happiness Is"
*Various reputable press outlets such as NPR, Esquire, and WOXY (RIP) have been kind enough to say nice things about the band

The long bio is available here.