Every once in awhile, you purchase an album that makes you completely reconsider everything else out on the market. For me, one such album is Eating the Sea, the Projekt debut from Soul Whirling Somewhere, a band out of Arizona. Everything about this album, from the music to the lyrics to the packaging — lovely aquatic-like photography which really helps set the mood — is exquisitely created by Michael Plaster, the sole member of Soul Whirling Somewhere.
The album begins with the instrumental “One Of These Days Some Eyes Will Be Opened,” a song which sets the musical groundwork for the album. Soft, gentle, minor-keyed synth washes that seem to roll over and through eachother, such is the formula that is used to perfection by Plaster.
The music is consists of primarily gentle, spiraling synths, but also features soft acoustic guitars and very minimal percussion on some tracks. Above all of this soars Plaster’s youthful and powerful voice, adding an almost innocent, choral quality to the music. Plaster wears his heart on his sleeve, but instead of dangling it in front you, he invites you to see it with some of the most powerful and personal lyrics I have ever heard. On “Wish” he intones: “If a word could have changed where I am now/Would I’ve wished if it were?/Dreams hand in frailty and glimmer out of reach/The threads of imagination — thinner than air.”
On “Landed” (my favorite track), these words are sung powerfully and gently: “And I had said the few things I’d wanted/That, we all agree, frees our soul/Because no one every wanted/A memory to chain them to a word left unfulfilled.”
The songs are sparse yet warm, like Plaster is inviting me to hear revelations of his deepest anxieties and feelings.
I cannot recommend this album highly enough. I find it to be the perfect album to listen to at night, with the lights off and the blinds closed. This is powerful, introspective music and means a great deal to me; it’s very rare to find an album that does that. Eating the Sea never ceases to amaze or inspire me everytime I listen to it and this, in my opinion, is what music has always been meant for.