Sea Ray

Stars at Noon

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The New York City space rock sextet Sea Ray must feel awfully lonely amidst the Big Apple's post-rock, garage-cleaning glitterati. Stars at Noon, its debut for the Self-Starter Foundation, forgoes any stabs at irony by remaining reverently melodic and unpretentious. The beautiful opener "Sister Gone" washes in like a slow-moving storm, then splinters into a deluge of intricate guitar and cello leads that wrap around each other like deviant siblings. This approach is masterfully orchestrated throughout, leaving small breaths between explosive bridges that are reminiscent of early-'90s Cure and the Church. Like Luna frontman Dean Wareham, vocalist/guitarist Jordan Warner employs a lazy and observational coyness that deftly steers the dreamy tone poem lyrics back into the 21st century, most notably on the beautiful "Forge Utopia," which relies heavily on Anne Brewster's elegant cello work. Sea Ray will likely draw more than a few Radiohead comparisons, whose foray into dreamy electronica has as many detractors as supporters, and there is some of that here. However, those cold English gentlemen could learn something from the warm chamber pop pillow that is Stars at Noon. Namely, that to connect with people you have to embrace your own humanity first.

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