NPR logo Song Premiere: The Calm Blue Sea, 'Mary Ann Nichols'

Song Premiere: The Calm Blue Sea, 'Mary Ann Nichols'

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The Calm Blue Sea.

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The Calm Blue Sea's bold, stormy, mostly instrumental rock doesn't stay in one spot for long: The Austin band's songs are liable to drift from a whispered lilt to a pummeling attack and back again, working through a handful of hypnotic phases along the way. Over the course of six minutes, "Mary Ann Nichols" — one of many enthralling epics on the group's excellent second album, Arrivals & Departures, out Oct. 9 — packs in several songs' worth of drama, as torrents of blustery guitars, atmospheric interludes and inscrutable vocals are fed into a single glorious swirl.

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The Calm Blue Sea.

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Song Premiere: The Calm Blue Sea, 'Mary Ann Nichols'

Mary Ann Nichols

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/160621196/160603101" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • from Arrivals and Departures
  • by The Calm Blue Sea

Buy Featured Music

Song
Arrivals and Departures
Album
Arrivals and Departures
Artist
The Calm Blue Sea
Label
Modern Outsider
Released
2012

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After an uneasy launch to its career — the band disappeared after self-releasing its 2008 debut in its hometown, only to reissue the record on a national label three years later — The Calm Blue Sea finally appears poised to take its rightful place alongside the likeminded likes of Godspeed You Black Emperor and Explosions in the Sky, for whom delicate grace and blistering aggression are never far apart.