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The Essex Green is a neo-psychedelic pop outfit from Brooklyn, NY via Burlington, VT. The band - primarily comprised of songwriters Jeff Baron, Sasha Bell, and Chris Ziter - specializes in a classic sound inspired by '60s/'70s pop and folk in the tradition of bands like The Left Banke and Fairport Convention. Cannibal Sea, originally released in 2006, is the third album in the Essex Green discography. This Merge Records release marks its first appearance on vinyl, a colored LP edition with a full download plus three rare digital bonus tracks: "Pack Up Your Sorrows," "San Bernadino," and "Victor."
Cannibal Sea draws on themes of travel, exploration and the desire for a quiet niche amid the pressures of big city living. The characters in the songs show a yearning to break free from the boundaries of city life (or the Cannibal Sea) to escape the darkness and fatigue and move on to a lighter-hearted setting surrounded by water, replete with the spray of the sea and the lilting of a boat. Ziter, Bell and Baron share vocal duties and, with the help of some equally talented friends and collaborators, gather a diverse range of styles and influences.
Listening to Cannibal Sea is like opening a songbook of classic pop. These 12 songs incorporate country-rock traces of The Byrds, the Greenwich Village balladry of Fred Neill and the acoustic pop harmonizing of The Mamas and The Papas. Add the pure pop perfection of the Monkees, and mix throughout with more modern traces of The Shins, The Hidden Cameras and Jens Lekman, and you have a
recipe for a sound that is timeless without being purely retro.