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What You Missed
Photos by Bernadette Castillo
At times, it is easy for The Eastern Sea to forget that Austin, Texas is home. And for that reason, their self-titled record (in two parts) plays much like a travelogue, a recollection of distant places that tend to mimic their own, somehow foreign, neighborhoods. Musically, The Eastern Sea combines swelling post-rock-like percussion, energetic and melodic bass guitar, lofty wurlizter, synthesizer pads, and finger-picked guitar that can either float above the ground or come down like a ton of bricks. As a band, The Eastern Sea tends to mimic their own musical aesthetic, sometimes swelling to a massive 11-piece collective featuring string and brass instruments, and sometimes simplifying down to the core players in the group: Tomas Garcia-Olano (Bass/Keys), Zach Duran (Percussion), Kevin Thomas (Trumpet/Percussion), and Matthew Hines (Guitar/Vocals/Keys) are the solid foundation on which the band is built. The sound and unique sense of place heard on The Eastern Sea’s two-part self-titled release also has much to do with the band’s unique recording and music writing process. Having just graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas as valedictorian of his senior class, singer/guitarist/songwriter Matthew Hines has had to work, along with the other full-time students in the band, to create something special despite an often insane schedule. As the band continues to grow on a regional and national level, what 90.5 KUT, Austin’s nationally-renowned public radio, has said of the band certainly rings true. “Austin and the rest of the indie-pop world will be hearing a lot from this act for awhile.”