We take a look at the anticipated third album from Seattle’s Some By Sea.

Artist: Some By Sea
Album: On Fire! (Igloo)

There is the stereotype pop artists hiring violinists and pianists to try and distinguish an “emotional impact” with fans. They are often labeled as money-making machines trying to earn money simply by trying to sound more ambitious. Some By Sea are the exact opposite of these type of artists. Some By Sea are a bunch of guys (and a girl) from Seattle that has an undeniable chemistry, which includes them being very personable with fans. You can just tell, either by seeing them live or on record, that they truly enjoy making music with one another. This is a rare thing in the music industry nowadays, and bands like Some By Sea seem to come once in a blue moon at this point. Comparisons are difficult to sketch, but I have heard some to Death Cab For Cutie, though I personally don’t see much of it. Some By Sea’s diverse sound relies on great hooks, with serenading of violins, trumpets, piano, and a plethora of other instruments at their side.

On Fire! (Igloo) is Some By Sea’s third album. Their previous two albums were very well received, but their main audience wasn’t as big as their sound. I do believe On Fire! (Igloo) will launch Some By Sea into great success though. Take a note; the track names on the album are very long. I’m talking even longer than Morrissey song titles. Hell, their opener is called ‘An Introduction: You Can’t Just Walk Away From Someone Who Is Leaning On You’. That’s all right though, because I’m judging on the music. The opener addresses several modern acts such as indie critics (the “indie police”), and kids posting on their blogs on the net (woohoo!). The song is extremely simple, the simplest on the album, but it is a good display of the vocals, which can rise and make even the simplest song seem expertly crafted.

Some By Sea’s emotionally drawn violins and piano truly come into play on stunners such as ‘Look What I Made Without Your Heart Getting In The Way’ and the stunning violin intro to ‘The Beginning Of The World Often Comes’. Both songs display a great build-up to an unforgettable chorus. These are songs that sound irresistible to most people. Indie kids and emo kids might even agree on something for once. Well, maybe. Like The Fiery Furnaces, Some By Sea does not like to waste space on an album. The album is seventy minutes long, and for the most part, there is no drop-off in quality. As far as commercially successful songs go, ‘Fables (Kentucky Social)’ just screams success. The backing female vocals are a very nice fit. Slow tempo emotive songs such as ‘This Song Is Not About You, So Don’t Ask’ and ‘A Night Without A Cineplex’ are also winners, displaying Some By Sea’s diverse display. Lyrically, Some By Sea tells a fitting storyline with plenty of metaphors along the way, for each song.

They can even go into louder stuff. ‘Under The Cyclone’ is an epic with an electric guitar making its sound noticeable all throughout the song. The production in the album may be one of the best I have heard this year. I strongly recommend Some By Sea’s On Fire! (Igloo), though you eventually won’t have to rely on my opinion of this band when they reach big success.

Rating: 9.4/10

01. Introduction: You Can’t Just Walk Away From Someone Who Is Leaning On You
02. A Night Without A Cineplex
03. This Song Is Not About You, So Don’t Ask
04. One More Day Goes By
05. The Things We All Carry Around
06. The Beginning Of The World Often Comes
07. The Saddest Christmas
08. Look What I Made Without Your Heart Getting In The Way
09. Fables (Kentucky Social)
10. Darling, Here’s The Best Part
11. Under The Cyclone

= Track Recommendation

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

Send your music to [email protected].


  1. I absolutely love this album. Very good Indie Pop along the lines of Arcade Fire. My personal favorite is “The Things We All Carry Around”. The lyrics are very personal and that violin solo at the one point of the song is just beautiful, one of the best albums I’ve heard all year.

  2. I’m glad someone else thinks so too. I think their popularity status will rise up a bit after playing at SXSW as well. I’ve personally never seen them live, but I’ve heard good things.

  3. I think these guys are great and this new release should get them a lot more attention. Sorry to see that “Only One Bullet” didn’t make the cut to be on the release – that’s a great song if you can find it.

  4. yes, ‘Only One Bullet’ is on the album. I forgot to mention the song just wasn’t included in my copy though, as it is apparently a VERY long song. I heard it was good though, so I don’t think it would impact the final impression very much.

  5. wow…terrific album…love this band’s sound!! they need more recognition. your review was wonderful 🙂

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