Second Stage: Little-Known Bands You Should Hear

Second Stage: Candy Claws

Download "Catamaran" by Candy Claws (Right-click or control-click to save to your computer)

Recorded as a musical companion piece to The Sea Around Us, the 1951 acclaimed book by Rachel Carson, Candy Claws' In the Dream of the Sea Life plays as the soundtrack to exciting undersea adventures and life lived by the ocean. The members of Candy Claws- Ryan Hover, Kay Bertholf, and Wesley Alonzo- hail from Fort Collins, Colo. After two years of writing and recording, the band self-released the stunning album early this year and were signed to the Irish label Indiecater in the fall.

As electronic music, it never strays far from the human element behind it. Gentle, finger-picked acoustic guitar and dreamy male and female vocals sit next to ecstatic drum machine rhythms and murky atmospheric synth. It's impossible to pinpoint all of the sounds going on at one time, but digging in further yields even more surprising noises and little details that really make the music beautiful. Gentle bubbling and lapping ocean sounds (recorded by the band while abroad in Italy and the Philippines) sit in the background of every track and flow serenely between songs.

Candy Claws just finished a virtual tour online, where they debuted exclusive performance videos on a number of blogs around the world. You can check out those videos linked from the band's MySpace page (while you're there, listen to their cover of the Ace of Base hit "Don't Turn Around"). You can also stream the whole album on the band's label's site, Indiecater.

"Catamaran" is one of the standout cuts from In The Dream Of The Sea Life:

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