Meditative, wistful, harmony-laced, and lacking any introduction whatsoever, “Tied to the Mast” (sea theme continues, inadvertently) envelops us instantly in its welcoming vocal layers. While reminiscent, clearly, of the sorts of harmonizing that Fleet Foxes abruptly brought back to rock’n’roll last year, what you’ll hear here has a smaller-scale and less architected feeling. Liam Carey, the Brooklyn-based driving force behind Secondstar, uses an accumulation of fragile vocal tracks to create something decidedly unfragile, anchoring it all on a simple acoustic rhythm guitar and some oceanic percussion, nicely evocative of the “ever-hooded, tragic-gestured sea,” to quote a landmark poem that comes to mind as I’m listening to this. The guitar, by the way, may be uncomplicated but the chords are so hospitable, the sound so warm and plush that I am newly reminded that complication isn’t everything.
“Tied to the Mast” is one of five songs on Secondstar’s Teeth EP, self-released this summer. A follow-up EP is due some time this fall, says Carey. Note that the link is via Bandcamp, and is not direct. Follow instructions from the link above and you’ll have the MP3 in no time.