Sick/Sea’s “Oh Ship”

McAllen, Texas’ Sick/Sea creates an impressive array of sounds with their most recent EP – Claire Morgan

Luke Goddard

out of 10

Oh Ship
April 7, 2011

Peggy Lee’s 1969 hit “Is That All There Is?” has always possessed the inscrutable power to leave me completely covered in goose-bumps. She speaks, then sings, then settles in halfway between the two—where you can’t be sure whether she is singing or just talking, but either way, you feel her dominating voice pervading your intimate space. Audrey Scott from Texas-based trio Sick/Sea (formally known as Arrgh!drey) delightfully delivers an impressively similar effect on the fresh, new EP, “Oh Ship”. Her vibrant harmonizing and guitar strumming, paired with tight drum melodies by her brother Cameron Scott, and Miguel Morales’ rich, steady bass line, recalls the emotionally-drenched tracks of Copeland—with a drowsy maritime motif and unexpected jazz-inspired interludes to add flavor.

The EP kicks off with ‘Camper’s Combo’, a cutesy narrative combined with a clean melody and slight ska twist: an ideal song for midsummer road trips and lazy hammock days.

‘Talking Doorman’ opens with quite the unexpected instrument for an indie-pop band: a trombone. This jazzy number even includes a sprinkling of organ keys—it’s like crossing Eisley with Al Green!

With ‘Convenient’, the band smartly approaches the cliché, “pissed off” female ballad. This dynamic track begins with a slow and unfussy air and snappily reflective lyrics. Then, slightly over a minute in, glitzy trumpets, violent clapping, and thunderous vocals ensue. “There are other girls who will vie for your attention, but I couldn’t care if you died.” Talk about angst!

Likewise, ‘Derby’ provides an equally catchy and fiery tune with a smaller dose of grandeur, and more passive lyrics. “People change, oh i know that already.”

“Trace your doorway with mistletoe; I’ll hide with you from the hiding snow.” This last track, ‘For the Holidays’ grants the EP a perennial listening season. Its charming lyrics, and silky instrumentals paired with Audrey’s touching vocals create a festive masterpiece for when the weather cools down.

This EP may not be flawless (for example, there a few untidy refrains), it unquestionably takes multiple steps towards a dynamic quality that is unique to the indie scene—and perhaps even has the potential to transcend the genre entirely.