With The North Sea, Raising the Fawn returns to the studio as a full band instead of returning to main man John Crossingham's intimate bedroom setting. (Though, since The North Sea was actually recorded prior to the By the Warmth of Your Flame EP -- the band's first full-band recording to actually be released -- saying that is kinda reversing cause and effect.) While much of The North Sea still has a very intimate and brooding quality, something found in spades on Raising the Fawn's first self-titled full-length, the interaction of all of the bandmembers adds a lot of weight to even the airier bits. Even better, the band occasionally breaks out into an unabashedly poppy moment, such as on the gloriously upbeat and bass-driven "Gwendolyn." Not to say that this is a pop album, really, as most of the album takes a while to unfurl and tends to be very pensive; despite the increasingly confident sound of the band as a whole, Crossingham's gentle voice still often sounds like it's going to break, even when the drums are pounding and the guitars are cranked. Lyrically, Crossingham touches on being lost at sea several times, and in many ways, the tentative sound of his voice among the crashes and swells of the music mirrors that motif. It doesn't matter whether you're lost at sea or lost emotionally within the bounds of a relationship, really...both can be pretty terrifying.
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AllMusic Review by Sean Carruthers