Sunday, October 5, 2008

Small Sur

My ride to go surfing occasionally sleeps in, leaving me, without a car, to spend the rest of my day how I may. I think I have mentioned how much I love the California coast before in posts. And on hearing "Sea Stones" by Small Sur I had an instant flashback to cold water, wetsuits, sunsets, and rocky beaches.

“Big Sur is the California that men dreamed of years ago, this is the Pacific that Balboa looked at from the Peak of Darien, this is the face of the earth as the Creator intended it to look.” - Henry Miller

Many writers (Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson to name a few) have been set upon by Big Sur's ruggedness and beauty, and it seems no surprise that these downtempo folksters have also found a canvas from which to sketch their drawn out guitar melodies and soaring vocal harmonies. Big Sur's wooded coastline kissed by fog fits well against Bob Keal's hushed lyrics, and Julianne Nelson's,Scott Dennison, and Austin Stahl's echoing voices in the background.

Their album, We Live in Houses Made of Wood, was released this past august through Tender Loving Empire, who compare Bob Keal's lyrics to "Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and the childlike wonder found in the assorted scribblings of Little Wings’ frontman Kyle Field." A remark that is true but does not exactly convey the sense nostalgia and hope that flows from We Live in Houses Made of Wood. I would point the reader in the direction of a more down-tempo Fleet Foxes.

Small Sur - Sea Stones
Small Sur - Sand Dollar

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