Jazz-inspired indie with subtle intertwining guitar patterns, syncopated rhythms, and airy melodies
The Sea and Cake is a pop/rock supergroup with a pronounced jazz influence, which formed in 1994 in Chicago, Illinois. The group’s name came from a willful reinterpretation (in the wake of an accidental miscomprehension) of The C In Cake, a song by Gastr Del Sol. Starting with 1997’s The Fawn, the group has relied on electronic sound sources, such as drum machines and synthesizers, to color its music, but has retained its distinctive post-jazz combo style. The band has shied away from releasing singles, preferring the album format. Contrary to his multi-instrumentalist role in Tortoise, John McEntire essentially plays only drums in The Sea and Cake.
Finally, in 2000, the Sea and Cake released their fifth album, Oui, followed three years later by the delivery of their most elegant album yet, One Bedroom. By this point, the group's repertoire had swelled to include African-inspired riffs, Brazilian influences, and guitar-based indie pop, and they hit a wellspring of creativity as the decade wound to a close.
Members Sam Prekop and Archer Prewitt each have released solo albums. The cover art of The Sea And Cake’s releases are largely paintings by Eric Claridge and photographs by Prekop. (Postcards of some of the One Bedroom-era photos were sold on the band’s 2003 tour.) Prewitt has been involved in publishing his own comic books and doing graphic design.
The band was on hiatus from 2004 to 2007, as Prekop and Prewitt each released further solo albums with accompanying tours, and focused on their visual art pursuits. Everybody and Car Alarm were released in quick succession, with Everybody appearing in 2007 and Car Alarm arriving in 2008. An EP, The Moonlight Butterfly, followed in 2011, as did a round of recording sessions for the band's tenth studio album.