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

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
Presented by

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

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

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Entertainment

Just In