Sounds like the sea, tastes like the cake

Press photo by Jim Newberry.
Press photo by Jim Newberry.

If you spend your weekends wandering around trying to satisfy your music craving, look no further.

Chicago post-rock legends The Sea and Cake, who have been together since 1994, will be coming to Montreal for a delightful treat that is worth checking out. Their 10th album, Runner, came out this fall. As far as what inspired the band name, Frontman Sam Prekop credits the Gastr del Sol song “The C In Cake.” 

“It’s a pleasantly odd and really straightforward play on words that partnered really well together,” explained Prekop.

The Sea and Cake’s lineup consists of Prekop on vocals, Eric Claridge on bass, John McIntyre on drums and Archer Prewitt on guitar. It started as a studio project between Prekop and Claridge, but they chose to establish themselves as a band by recruiting like-minded musicians.

If you listen to the upbeat ambience of “Harps” and “Pacific,” or the more laidback and somber “Harbor Bridges” and “Runner,” it’s easy to imagine yourself walking on an empty road on a late Friday night. The mood feels so ambient and solitary. Listening to Runner is like embracing the fog that surrounds you through the evening as you head home.

“A lot of the pieces seem to work in a sort of sweet and sour, light and dark, yin and yang sort of a way. It’s sort of melancholic but also sort of uplifting,” said Prekop. “It’s a pretty unique sound. It’s not about delivering a message, it’s about exhibiting the work.”

Runner is the follow-up to their last album, Moonlight Butterfly, and was recorded in Prekop’s personal studio. This was a new working method for the band, who previously created albums at a professional recording studio.

The Sea and Cake love being on the road. Prekop compares it to a “weird vacation” where everything is planned and the band always know where to go and what to do. Though they’ve swung through Montreal on several tours, the frontman insists that they’ve improved performance-wise, making their latest show a must-see.

I think we feel like we keep getting better. It’s quite a bit different from the record actually. I think it could be interesting to hear our material in a live setting,” said Prekop. “The delivery is more intense than the record. Live is really something we really like doing and it’s important for the band.”

The plan to showcase at least five tracks from Runner and will play fan favorites as well. The Sea and Cake’s Montreal show will be the second stop of their tour in promotion of their new album.


The Sea and Cake play Il Motore (179 Jean-Talon W.) on Oct. 19. Tickets are $15 at the door or $13 in advance.


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