Seasick Mama sees herself as “a woman that defines complexity”. After listening to her EP Tip Top Shape, it seems to be an accurate description. According to her website, Seasick Mama takes her inspiration from a myriad of sources. The production of the album is no exception. Tip Top Shape is a collaborative effort of several musicians and is produced by “David Sitek (TV on the Radio), Sam Farrar (Phantom Planet) and Peter Wade (MNDR)”.
Listening to the album, it is impossible to miss the constant references to the water and the sea which reflect her namesake. For example, in the track, “Man Overboard ” she sings: “Treading water will exhaust you and it does you’ll burn out fast. Don’t settle the seas if you’re not happy.” Tip Top Shape is indeed an eclectic mixture of different sounds that like the sea, doesn’t let the listener settle down.
The album begins with an upbeat track called “Gimme Somethin More to Work With” that is full of soul. The chorus that says “I didn’t ask you to solve my problems,” is full of angst (not to mention catchy) that perfectly starts off the album. The next track “Tees & Jeans”, takes the angst even further (but don’t get too comfortable).
Near the end, the album takes on a darker and more subdued tone. Tracks such as “Bite Bullet” and “Rules Don’t Apply” are just as calm as they are melodic. The beat becomes more relaxed, and the lyrics seem to reflect a transition from anger to acceptance. For example, In Rules Don’t Apply, she sings in the chorus: “Just let him go. Just say goodbye. Just let him know: Rules don’t apply.” The final song, “Cooked Inside Out”, is the perfect closer that embodies the mood of the entire album. The song opens with lyrics that juxtapose the upbeat sound. However, the song closes with her singing acapella, “You burned a hole through me.”
Tip Top Shape is an up and down back and forth album that centers around love gained and lost and the feelings between. If the goal was to create an album that is difficult to pin down, Seasick Mama achieved it. This EP will make you excited to hear what she comes out with next.
ESBMusic had the chance to catch up with Seasick Mama and talk about her musical inspiration, video concept, and why she likes songwriting.
EBM: How did come up with your band name?
SM: Seasick Mama is from a Neil Young song called “For The Turnstiles”. It’s a term for a sailor’s wife; a loyal woman waiting for her hot, stinky captain to return home and ravish her.
ESBM: You are a woman of many talents; a songwriter, performer, and model. What do you like doing the best?
SM: I like the songwriting the best. It is very therapeutic. I silence myself in my day-to-day life, not speaking up enough. Songwriting allows me to say all the things I am too scared to vocalize.
ESBM: Your sound is an eclectic amalgam of sounds, how would you describe it?
ESBM: Where do you get your musical inspiration?
SM: I get the most inspiration from my friends. They all listen to different stuff. Kendrick Lamar, Little Dragon, Stevie Wonder, Blood Orange, Talking Heads, whatever comes, comes.
ESBM: Your video for “Man Overboard” is pretty sweet. How did you come up with the concept?
SM: We actually didn’t really know what the music video concept was going to be until the day before we shot it. Jay Bulger just wanted an action packed video with lots of ass, horseback riding, kidnapping, drug lords, water, and a tropical island.
ESBM: What is the next single up for release?
SM: Tough call…What does everyone want?
ESBM: Any last words?
SM: We are going on tour in February 2014! Make sure to check our calendar for shows in your area 🙂