“To the Fire” starts The Sea Says off with a glorious harmonized acapella that immediately sets the stage and warmly invites the listener on a journey through the ups and downs of life, told through the powerful combination of Yvette Winkler’s emotive vocals and Frank Weyzig’s intricate instrumentation and production. Seen recently on collaborations with Junksista and The Jean-Marc Lederman Experience, Winkler has a unique vocal warmth that weaves perfectly with Weyzig in the orchestrated, sometimes jangly acoustic gothic soundscapes. This combination shines on a lovingly crafted and respectful cover of PJ Harvey’s “Shame,” while the thoughtful interpretation of Oceansize’s “One Day All This Could Be Yours” adds a different dimension to the track that fans of the original will appreciate for its care and dedication, while delicately adding a new tone.
The album, while introspective, goes even deeper on “I Surrender,” the lyrics painting a picture of vulnerability that by the time the chorus begins, one feels as though they’ve stumbled into someone’s innermost hurt. Winkler’s vocals convey raw honesty and relatable fears in lines like “Who wanders with me when I’m losing my way,” while the instrumentation seems to serve as a safety net for this fragility, guiding it along gently. “Under Your Skin” is a standout track that by the midpoint, it’s hard not to wonder if this isn’t a sequel to The Cult’s “Edie (Ciao Baby).” The searing guitar lines followed then by Weyzig’s vocal tones are an absolute treat for the ears. This is also notable on “Forever After,” where Chiron’s Michael Aliani takes the lower vocal lines, providing an almost hypnotic depth alongside Winkler. The album also features a guest appearance by Dr. Strangefryer – a.k.a. prolific powerhouse John Fryer – on the track “Down,” which adds a unique twist with its more electronic vibes and delay-heavy percussion.
Ultimately, The Sea Says firmly solidifies Vaselyne as a force to be reckoned with in the darker genres with its bold orchestration and lush vocal layers. It’s a highly immersive experience of an album that fans of traditional goth will likely find solace in. The soundscapes, occasionally chorus-intensive bass, and brightly metallic strings will likely please listeners of Dead Can Dance – the duo is arguably as musically complementary to each other as Perry and Gerrard, with a touch of sorrowful hope that sets them apart, and their unique chemistry has helped Winkler and Weyzig to further refine their intricate and inventive sound from earlier releases.