advance praise for The Great Big Sea:
"It’s not often one comes across one like this. The blogosphere churns out the next big thing just about everyday. Sometimes the recommended bands are exactly what I need (Arcade Fire) and other times, just the opposite (Arctic Monkeys). But this time I felt like I was 14 again -when finding a new artist wasn’t an everyday occurrence- receiving a duped copy of a CD or a tape that a friend insisted was a “must hear”.
The blog world is right on this one, Beat Radio, is a must hear. The New York based indie-rock quartet fronted by singer-songwriter Brian Sendrowitz, is a group of friends playing music that they understand in full and therefore it translates to the listener. They certainly have evident influences, yet their sound is somehow still original.
The Great Big Sea, the bands debut, typically and properly has been compared to bands like Luna, Broken Social Scene and Clap Your Hands Say Yea. But these comparisons overlook the influence of classic rock visionaries like Van Morrison and Neil Young.
It is a meshing of worlds that can coexist, and do. The vocals shake with the emotion of the lyrical poetry. The fuzzy guitars allow for the vocals to attack the heart. It is an album for the long hot summer, both the beginning-filled with the hope of a season ripe with love and excitement and the end-filled with despair and heartache.
“And in my secret heart the revolution starts/The sun is burning through the clouds/Meet me on Sunday Night/Wait for the morning lights/Everything is temporary now.” So goes “Everything Is Temporary” carrying those expectations and disappointments concurrently in the same melody. 11 songs of confusion fill this LP, 5 of which are new.
The album also contains 6 songs from the Ecstatic EP from 2005. Yet the album flows flawlessly, as if written in order. Track by track you wonder how an album like this goes unnoticed. If you give this one a chance you will be instantly be ready for more.
The Great Big Sea is the kind of album that has you anticipating the next."
-Nick Greto, Kevchino.com
"Indie music, that ubiquitous catch-all, is an expansive umbrella. A thorough exploration of its outer reaches will yield at least fleeting glimpses of every trick laid down in the historical farrago of songwriting. It always comes as a mild shock, then, when something rare, not to say new, bubbles to the surface. The latest emergence of said phenomenon is delivered courtesy of Beat Radio, a New York-based pop outfit with one release (2005's The Great Big Sea) to their name. Fronted by singer/songwriter Brian Sendrowitz, the distinguishing mark here is stark-naked lyricism taking romantic sincerity to new projections.
There are those among the listening elite, jaded ironists or unrepentant students of the poetic form, perhaps, who might squirm at certain lines, recalling snippets of Coldplay or Neil Diamond. Yet without fail, Beat Radio's honesty boomerangs to bolster itself; the lovelorn intelligence, impressive melody, and pinpoint emotional accuracy float these tunes to realms of quality. And if that sounds like a paltry endorsement, believe it for yourself- the Great Big Sea LP is available, free of charge, at www.beatradio.org."
-Shane Ryan, Junkmedia.org
"I'm not going to kill myself trying to describe their sound (melody and harmony-adorned shoegaze-lite, slow builds, layered guitars, emotional not emo, timeless). Beat Radio remind me of that little downtown boutique shop that my wife drags me into and I realize that even though I don't really have a clue about the sartorial wonders of the world, there is something different going on there. No, none of that belabored hip or cool. And definitely no hideous thrift-store rehashs. Just that sense of the familiar yet with the freshest of twists.
These guys write classic songs and I love that. This will be the underappreciated album of the year."
"Brian Sendrowitz is a man for whom the phrase 'heart-on-sleeve' was custom-built. Every note he plays could cure the common cold and make the cutest kitten kill itself in the bend of a string and every word he coos could render your heart an external organ in the pasting of a lover. Simply, connections with a ready-divorced audience don't often come this sweet or this tuneful. It seems reactionary to bracket the album in such a way, but it truly is one for the thinking Shins fan – all the heartbreak you could need outside of a Teenage Fanclub album, but presented in a slightly spangly guise with jittery shimmer to spare.
After creating one of these circumventing atmospheres on opening instrumental 'They Took The Sound Out Of Sound', Sendrowitz allows the spewing acerbic sweetness to flow forth in the shape of 'Elegy', a bucolic wonderment that soars as much as it plumbs emotional depths. When he sings that he 'felt much older then', and that 'I know all the stars by name' it is to Sendrowitz's eternal credit that these lines do not sound mawkish. Further than that, they sound positively insightful, tender and real. This is not a normal kind of pop writer, this is one whereby conventions are rammed into your brain but made to feel like the first time you heard it done.
It doesn't stop. Every gem-like track is a tiny reason why everyone should listen to Beat Radio, each slightly more scratchy and invigorating, more juicy and compulsive than the one before. The lilt of 'Ancient As The Stars 2' is very much a highlight, its soft banjo popping all over the place with tricksy strung accompaniment lolloping in the background like your favourite butler. The thwarting implied in the song is devastating: 'give me one more chance to come on home', pleads Sendrowitz in a telling moment of honesty jostling with several others. Ultimately, it is this puppy-eyed honesty that will bring people back over and over once they fall under the spell of 'The Great Big Sea'.
With a steadily increasing reputation as an indie-pop mini-sensation in the wings, Beat Radio is sure to light up a great deal more lonely nights in the near future. A talent with unnerving freshness and complex emotional clout is unleashed on 'The Great Big Sea', an album that will hopefully register as the first of what those-in-the-know call a body of work."