February 1st, 2012
The next CD you need to get? Sightseer’s What Tomorrow Brings.
OK. Right off the bat, I’ll give full disclosure. I have on occasion filled in on bass for this band so one might think I have a biased opinion, but that isn’t entirely true. There’s a reason, you see, why I filled in on bass when asked. Simply put, I dig the tunes. I’m not a musician for hire. I won’t play a gig simply for the sake of playing a gig. There’s has to be something magical in the band and the music for me to say, “Yeah, I’ll learn ten songs in ten days for that show.” And well, Sightseer is one such band.
As I noted from the first time I saw them, there’s the beautiful ballad “Biggest Storms”, a sparse tune with acoustic guitar, some slide guitar, some violin, and P.A. Mathison’s understated vocal melody, and one of her most poetic lyrically. There’s a tenderness in her voice, even when belting at the top of he lungs, that draws one in. It’s comforting. Her voice is never shrill, never too loud, never buried. They’re never a band to go over the top. They rather seep in underneath and get at what really matters. The Jasons (Lightfoot on guitar and Welling on keys/violin/guitar) are tasteful and reserved in what they play, but don’t let that deceive you, they’re quite capable musicians. The bass player and drummer recently left the band, but that didn’t derail things. Rather, in the spirit of all that music is, Sightseer forged ahead with some acoustic shows, and some shows where they asked people to fill in, and they kept on playing because the music matters, the songs, the act of getting on stage a playing certain chords a certain way. They have a brand of alt-country rock that winds its way deftly between the softer tunes and those that carry more up front guitar. And it packs a punch, it does slide low, it does pull strings. And the lyrics come, the hushed voice comes:
And ain’t it funny how
The biggest storms don’t make a sound
And then there’s, “What If I”. It was a latecomer in the recording process. P.A. brought it to the band, and after one listen and a few run throughs, they decided they needed to add it to the CD. It was the right choice. It’s a ballad with edge, but the signature vocal delivery is there. It makes one think she’s singing to herself, not in a studio, not on a stage. There’s a personal quality not heard often, again, nothing over the top, just an honest plea of the simplest and most important thing we’ve all felt at one point or another. I have, and her words and voice have stuck in my brain:
What if I told you I needed you now
And all that you are is all I think about
What if I broke down and told you the truth
What if I loved you the way I want to
What if I …
The CD is officially released today, February 1, 2012. I’ll keep you posted on upcoming Sightseer gigs, and I may even join them on stage again soon, but until then, check out the CD. Digital ($9.99) and physical ($12.47) copies can be purchased online.