Chris Landry and the Seasick Mommas
Album: One fifty five
Stand Out Tracks: Writing to Explain, Yukon Nights, Time Stands, Laura
It may seem obvious to say, but country music has a long tradition of bringing music to heartbreak. No other genre brings home the feelings of loneliness, despair and ache quite like country – especially “classic” country music. Chris Landry and the Seasick Mommas‘ album “One fifty five” dives into this tradition headfirst, adding a nice dose of east-coast inspiration to the digs. Seemingly taking inspiration from equal parts Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Luke the Drifter (Hank’s spoken word alter-ego) and Wilco, Chris and his band tell sad stories of break ups and longing, reaching back to waltz time lyrical repetition (as heard on the track “My Eyes Filled With Tears”). Organ work and wonderfully sighing slide guitar all work together to lend an atmosphere of desperate longing and missed chances.
Landry’s music is preoccupied with love lost; mostly one that was taken for granted and is now missed desperately (“Turn Back the Clock”, “2 Bedroom Apartment” and “Laura”). “Turn Back the Clock” especially pours out this kind of agony, as Landry’s voice seems to actually break mid-song:
“Yukon Nights” paints a sad yet lovely picture of a broken drunken night with a nameless friend in the Yukon. You can just about feel the cold and see the stars and somehow; it warms the heart, even as the temperature drops to 40 below zero:
While the tunes are certainly not uplifting (that doesn’t seem to be the party Landry is interested in playing), they are quite affecting. The harmonies and backing players provide a sighing backdrop to the stories told in the songs, circling and underlining the over-arching themes nicely. It is quite nice to hear this particular tradition holding strong, and Landry does justice to his emotions, while maintaining an intimate feeling throughout that amounts to a close up to his story.