Arts Desk

One Track Mind: The Sea Life’s “Prozac & Merlot”

sealifeStandout Track: The gritty, reverb-heavy “Prozac & Merlot” is a standalone single that the Sea Life, a D.C.-by-way-of-Montgomery County indie-pop band, drops today to generate attention while it wraps up a U.S. tour and gets ready for some new releases later this year. As the title implies, it’s about medication, both prescribed and self-administered. Bass and drums set a languorous tone, but a ringing guitar line bursts away, suggesting intense instability.

Musical Motivation: “Did you take your demons out/You’re holdin’ them in your head,” singer/guitarist Jon Weiss croaks near the beginning, making it clear that the narrator is more an observer than a patient. “I have a bunch of friends who are on, like, antidepressants, and on the label it says never drink more than three alcoholic drinks a day,” Weiss says. “And I can’t think of one of them who doesn’t drink more than three alcoholic drinks a day.” He’s critical of “the idea of numbing yourself out, not feeling emotions that suck,” a tactic that, through pills, is “even promoted by some doctors.”

This Time, It’s Personal: “Prozac & Merlot” definitely sounds more edgy and urgent than Transitions, the band’s carefully tended October 2013 EP, which was recorded and produced by Maryland-based Tommy Sherrod. The Sea Life handled the new song itself, with Sherrod just doing a final mix. “This time, we didn’t want to have any limitations; we wanted to have complete control over the sound, and we also wanted to make a sound that was replicable live,” Weiss says from the band’s van, en route from Pittsburgh to Boston. “There’s no overdubs or anything like that, so it’s all very raw and very real.”

Listen to “Prozac & Merlot” after the jump. The Sea Life plays with Humble Fire and Sun Club tonight at the Black Cat.


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