Track of the Day: 'The Sea Shall Not Have Them'

More

Past TracksGod's Little Eskimo is the musical project of Johnny Restall, a singer-songwriter from Manchester with a serious love for pre-Industrial imagery. (On the latest God's Little Eskimo album, Said the Owl to the Mouse, song titles include "The Alder King" and "In the Gloaming Woods.") Restall's instrumental arrangements tend to be spare--some guitar chords here, a bit of mild percussion there--which makes sense, since God's Little Eskimo is first and foremost a vocal showcase. The instruments are largely there to provide a context for Restall's falsetto, which he loops and layers in dizzying strata, turning himself into a harmonic community.

On some songs, this I-contain-multitudes approach is a great way to communicate joy. (The song "I Go Swimming," a slow-release celebration of a summer day, is what the Polyphonic Spree could sound like if they'd just calm down for five minutes.) But I find myself drawn to Restall's more melancholy work, like "The Sea Shall Not Have Them," from the 2009 album At Play in Borley Rectory. I can't really understand what Restall is singing here, for the most part--the lyrics seem to name a bunch of landmasses in the British Isles--but the song carries a loneliness that's unmistakable. Restall adds vocal tracks here in a way that reminds me of a snowfall: it starts out light and invigorating, but doesn't take long to pile up to the point of overwhelm.


new track button.png
Jump to comments
Presented by

Alex Eichler is a reporter at The Huffington Post and a former staff writer at The Atlantic Wire.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In