Release Date: Mar 21, 2006
Record label: Merge
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The Essex Green's previous album was a marvelous fusion of their psychedelic pop, soft rock, folk, and indie pop influences, much like a fusion of the Ladybug Transistor and the Sixth Great Lake (not surprising since the three principals in the band also play in those two groups). Released in 2006, Cannibal Sea is a continuation of that sound with the added ingredient of better songs, higher production values, and Final Four-worthy performances. Not that they have been weak in those departments in the past, but now they seem to have hit upon a seam of pure gold.
Despite their Elephant Six pedigree, Brooklyn trio The Essex Green reject many of the commonplaces of the retro-pop genre. First of all, they don’t rely on hooks: sure, their songs are melodic and catchy enough, but not in such a way that the poppiness is shoved down your throat. Second, and more importantly, they avoid the kind of gratuitous referential flourishes that commonly serve as signs of “retro-ness.