The White Russian – “Sea Song”


A stirring piano-led glistening kicks off “Sea Song,” a gorgeous and cinematic-inclined single from The White Russian, the project of London-based singer/songwriter Joseph Giffard Tutt. Sounds resembling ocean waves lead into the contemplative vocal moroseness, letting their guard down as playful twinkling emerges past the first minute. Horn additions from Jason Wick invigorate during the “lost at sea,” sequence — with visions of swimming with the fishes, in a sort of lost pursuit, sending chills with backing vocal touches and an all-out chamber-pop glow.

First grabbing our attention last year with the ethereal folk gem “You Are,” the project showcases an expanded sound with “Sea Song.” Production by Fiona Cruickshank (Keaton Henson, ‘Sopernova’ & Six Lethargies’) and Iain Berryman helps guide The White Russian’s sound to more involved tonal dynamics — “using bigger instruments in bigger rooms with more microphones around them.”

The final minute is particularly engrossing, as the backing vocals, expressive horns, and piano-laden undercurrent converge for a beautiful orchestral-pop culmination. “Sea Song” is another standout piece of songwriting and production from The White Russian, continuing to impress further with each release.

Tutt elaborates on the track:

“I must have played the piano riff over a hundred times to myself before the lyrics came along. I sat at my window at the keyboard and although I couldn’t see the sea it was just a few hundred yards away, and was vibing at me. I suppose the qualities that bleed through into the song are about touching into deep waters; the things eternal to us and the struggles we may never really conquer in this lifetime.”

“The ethos behind writing for me is very much ‘first thought best thought.’ I suppose when I listen to the lyrics now I can hear the pull between a part of myself wanting to soothe and encourage, and another part that just comes along and with brutal honesty destroys that other part’s argument. Both seem true as these two forces trying to reconcile. Maybe that’s why the sections in the song are so ridiculously different and yet are allowed to coincide with each other, or at least co-habit the same space.”

This and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of April 2023’ Spotify playlist.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

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

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