2011's The Moonlight Butterfly is The Sea And Cake's ninth album and it arrived in the middle of a wellspring of creativity for the band. The album was recorded at Soma studios, in Chicago, by drummer John McEntire. The Moonlight Butterfly has the core elements of the utterly unique Sea and Cake sound, while introducing a more experimental approach to the song's textures and structures. The songs are more extended in form and cinematic in feel. The band's singular guitar-based pop sound is filtered though pattern based ideas that slowly morph the linear into the modal. The album is filled with extended instrumental passages that bear the markers of Sam Prekop's recent solo exploration of analog synthesizers. The song "Inn Keeping," for example, focuses on the synthesizer as the main armature of the song, a constant to play with and against. The band found that a shifting of the focus from the vocal to new instruments facilitated a more open approach. The artwork, a delicate elephant drawing by bassist Eric Claridge, captures the music's essence: at once light and heavy, sweet and sinister, distant and close. The Sea and Cake's bold explorations are delivered in layers of delicate tones and melodies.