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ALBUM REVIEW: The Delines – The Sea Drift

THE DELINES

THE SEA DRIFT

LOVE POLICE RECORDS + TAPES

Once considered a side project of Richmond Fontaine songwriter and frontman Willy Vlautin, on album #3 The Delines have comprehensively proven themselves as their own bittersweet and soulful microsystem, where damaged souls battle on against life’s twists and turns. Little beacons of hope amid the disarray.

Though there’s a through-line in Vlautin’s vignettes of the downtrodden, from the gritty realism that permeated his previous band’s songs to his own established literary career, it’s the exquisite voice of Amy Boone that really makes The Delines such a special band. She brings Vlautin’s characters to life, imbues them with tragedy and compassion. She pulls equally on the heartstrings with heartache and heartwarming gravitas. 

‘Kid Codeine’ is a horn-laden and lively rhythmic excursion par excellence, the band adding a new string to their slow soul sound. They still of  course revel in the late-night lament, with horns mournfully tumbling like tears on ‘Drowning In Plain Sight’ and minor piano notes hanging in reverb-bathed moonlight on ‘All Along The Ride’. Elsewhere, ‘Past The Shadows’ is one of their finest songs to date – the perfect marriage of music, melody and the art of immersing the listener in a song. The Sea Drift is yet another utterly compelling chapter in The Delines’ ever-growing songbook.

Chris Familton

The Sea Drift is available in Australia via Love Police Records + Tapes.

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