The Tumbled Sea
melody/summer


4.0
excellent

Review

by Richard Craig USER (120 Reviews)
January 16th, 2012 | 14 replies | 3,708 views


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Less is more.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Sam Lee, the man behind The Tumbled Sea is clearly a proponent of the belief that “less is more.” This is made abundantly clear by the minimalistic, piano-led tracks on his one-man project’s two albums so far. That music so unassuming can be so expressive is remarkable; that it is so soothing is less so. Musically, there is little to The Tumbled Sea besides simple piano melodies and simple chords over a canvas of swirling ambience. Nevertheless, each and every track on The Tumbled Sea’s second album, ‘Melody/Summer’, effectively creates mood and atmosphere, seems to tell a story, or at least hint at a theme or setting. The Tumbled Sea is almost soundtrack-like in its unobtrusiveness, gently shaping the listener’s musings whilst maintaining a peaceful demeanour and a beautiful elegance.

The tracks that comprise ‘Melody/Summer’ are dominated by simplistic, single-note piano melodies that are by nature, minimalistic. Accompaniment, too, is minimal, with foggy, synthesised ambience acting as an atmospheric backdrop for Lee’s dreamy piano lines. More fleshed out tracks do appear – ‘Ø’ revolves around a beautiful, solemn procession of Theremin and violins – but these are conspicuous by their relative elaboration. Therefore, it is fortunate that The Tumbled Sea manage to avoid the potential pitfall of weak, ineffectual tracks and succeed in penning remarkably expressive, fragilely pretty ones. For example, ‘Summer III’ has a decidedly cold feel to it, a desolate piano line softly rises and falls as synths gently burst into life dramatically: all of this conveys tragedy and loneliness effectively. Meanwhile, ‘Melody III’ has an almost romantic air to it as slow-moving synthesised strings and a metronomic chime counterpoint the relatively late entry of a sweetly coquettish, fractured piano riff.

‘Melody/Summer’ seems to exude a peaceful and deliberate sense of beauty with each and every note and it is all the more powerful for this. In less capable hands, such minimalism could be scant and threadbare, but The Tumbled Sea makes the most of its simplistic neo-minimalism. The piano is at the forefront of ‘Melody/Summer’ and is largely responsible for dictating the mood of the album. Generally speaking, the musical imagery created on ‘Melody/Summer’ seems to be of loneliness and unrequited yearning, yet it is so placidly exquisite that it exudes a strangely life-affirming warmth. On ‘Melody/Summer’, The Tumbled Sea makes the most of minimal instrumentation to create a rich album of exceptional beauty, proving that sometimes less is more.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
craigy2
January 15th 2012



551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Tumbled Sea's two albums can be found here: http://futurerecordings.bandcamp.com/
Simple review for a simple album. Enjoy.

letsgofishing
January 15th 2012



900 Comments


This sounds excellent, checking out soon.

POS'd

Digging: Kayo Dot - Choirs of the Eye

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2012



4507 Comments


Yeah this could be good

seedofnothing
January 15th 2012



3425 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is exactly what I was looking for right now. Thank you sooo much for sharing. Pos.

iFghtffyrdmns
January 16th 2012



7047 Comments


nice write up craigy
this shit right hurr is some sleep jamz

North0House2
January 16th 2012



5800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been loving these guys for a long time. Sometimes I jam to this in my car.

Good review

Digging: Martin Grech - Open Heart Zoo

craigy2
January 16th 2012



551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

We had this discussion on my other TTS review... I still can't see this as driving music - definitely cup of tea and sleep music for me

North0House2
January 16th 2012



5800 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I think I remember that... Lol. Yeah that's what it's for sure good for. That's why I drive to it, it's relaxing and it helps me kind of zone out. Basically, it makes the long commutes around the city a lot more serene.

iFghtffyrdmns
January 16th 2012



7047 Comments


hahaha even i remember that other conversation
took craigy's side on that one too sorry north

craigy2
January 16th 2012



551 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

But what happens when it lulls you to sleep at the wheel with a serene grin on your face and you crash into an oncoming pick-up truck?

NeutralThunder12
January 16th 2012



8742 Comments


my cousin showed me this guys first one it was REALLY good.

RosaParks
May 4th 2012



14592 Comments


need to check this out

JS19
March 22nd 2013



4154 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Beaut

Digging: Sadistik - Ultraviolet

AcBandit
March 16th 2014



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

There's a Kickstarter currently going to release this album on vinyl and CD:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1541457724/the-tumbled-sea

It's struggling a bit at the moment which is unfortunate. Help it out if you can!



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