Four years prior to this record The Southern Sea quietly released the six-song EP, "Simple Machines for Complex Problems"—a painstakingly intricate project that was completed by sheer will and a blood pact between the founding members. The positive response from an ever-growing fan base and some much-deserved attention from the far edges of the online universe justified the blood lost.
"Theoretically, yes. Honestly, No," the band's first full-length offering and first release for Texas-based, Old House Records, is less bloodletting and more of a joyous celebration of that which came before.
Two years after releasing "Simple Machines," one of the founding members, Billy Hale (Vocals/Guitar), left North America and headed for Cambodia. Before he left, the band got some more music down on tape. In the midst of an ice storm, holed up at IBC studios in Irving, Texas, with some engineering help from Michael J. Scheuchzer, five new songs were born. Over the course of the next two years, in various home studios throughout the state, four additional songs were birthed, cared for and nurtured into maturity.
With the new band line-up, Brad Wofford (Vocals/Guitar/Rhodes/Banjo), Marc Atkinson (Guitar/Theremin/Bells), Cory Phifer (Drums), Chad Spier (Bass/Vocals) and Samantha Spier (Vocals/Tambourine) and these nine new songs, plus a closer, that has been with the band ever since TSS's debut, "Nina and the Wrong Note", The Southern Sea were set to unveil their new record. Beginning four years after "Nina," and ending four years after "Simple Machines"... this record occupies time.
Continuing on themes familiar to TSS fans, the songs document family unrest, the fears of playing live and respect for the natural world. While references to Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys still apply, and the banjo, Theremin and bells still find their way to center stage now and again, this record is a step forward. There is now an urgency to the music and a feeling that this is no longer a "project", but is now a living, breathing band.
So, with another record crafted with loving hands, and some brilliant mixing from
T. W. Walsh (Pedro The Lion, Headphones, Soft Drugs), The Southern Sea offers "Theoretically, Yes. Honestly, No" as a blood pact between them and you.