By Brian Tucker
Sound over Water arrived on vinyl last week, copies showing up for sale at Gravity Records. Last November The Midatlantic released their full-length album debut as part of the Carolina Pine Music Festival at Brooklyn Arts Center. Interviewing lead singer Jason Andre for an article on the band’s new album he said it was a long time coming.
The band won Hourglass Studios’ EP contest and the new recording project expanded into a full album. The project took longer to complete given band member schedules, work, and wanting to get things right. At the time Andre said that the vinyl version of Sound over Water was expected in February 2016.
Fans of vinyl albums are aware that pressing plants are extremely busy, running around the clock at most facilities to keep up with orders. No doubt that pushed the album back in getting released. Regardless, it was worth the wait. Sound over Water sounds great on CD and as mp3’s on a laptop (something I use frequently but not a fan of). The band’s playing and the album’s recording quality shines across its thirteen tracks – textured songs that consistently sound rich and vibrant.
Playing the vinyl version (the songs are spread across two discs), it only sounds fuller and more alive. The band incorporated their initial self-titled debut EP’s songs into the new album. Here they are stronger but help create a larger palette of a soulful, dynamic sounding band that brings a colorful combination of mandolin, banjo, and ukulele with guitar on songs.
There’s plenty to enjoy on Sound over Water. The album illustrates The Midatlantic’s prowess at crafting catchy, engaging songs (see “Nothing’s Wrong,” “Hurry Up and Wait,” or “Steal My Heart”) as well as incorporating other atmospheres – be it starkness on “Down,” a taste of blues on “Water’s Edge,” the hypnotic “Sing Around the Storm,” or a wildly energetic instrumental (“Into the Blue”). The band takes it way down for the gem “Constant” a Sunday stroll of a song that all but closes the album.
The 2-LP vinyl version of Sound over Water has two downsides, there’s no digital download included and it sells at Gravity Records for $29.99. That’s not uncommon for a 2-LP album but not exactly the norm. Still, it’s a self-funded local band and well worth the bucks because this album is a long player, meaning you’ll playing it for many years to come.
Catch the band this holiday weekend on Wrightsville Beach. The Midatlantic is playing July 3rd at The Palm Room.