The Battle of Land and Sea
self titled (CD)
Out of Print
To describe the sound of The Battle of Land and Sea, one might call up images of abandoned sea-worn ships floating
through a thick coastal fog. And upon first listen you might call to mind Cat Power, or the soft glow of Songs of Green
Pheasant. But eventually, you start to hear what makes the music of Portland based Sarah O'Shura so special. You get a
glimpse of a world through the eyes of someone on a musical pilgrimage, whether the tales are laden with sorrow or joy,
they are enchanting and hopeful.
Growing up in a remote northern Californian town as an only child definitely left its stamp on Sarah's imagination. Taking piano and clarinet lessons was the extent of her musical experience until taking up guitar and singing in a band at the age of 19. Fast forward through years of day jobs, bands beginning and ending, shows, recording, and we are nearly there. The Battle of Land and Sea sprouted from a prolific weekend of songwriting and recording while holed up with said imagina- tion and a four track at home. Sarah began recording as The Battle of Land and Sea in early 2006, with her delicate, sparse songwriting at the center and seeking like minded musical characters to help narrate the journey. Recording with long time musical partner Joshua Canny on electric guitar, a beautifully patient album that begs for repeated late night listens was created. Six of the eight tracks on this debut full-length stem from a hand sewn EP the band self-released in early 2007 and revisited for this release. Jacob Golden produced the album at his home studio in the summer of 2006 and spring of 2007, seasoning the home spun vibe and intimate songs perfectly. Mixing took place in both London and Silverlake, lending some cross Atlantic perspective, which makes sense considering the seafaring thread.
While Sarah remains a bit mysterious about her upbringing and what forged the musical veil, what we do get to know are the songs. The tracks unfurl like pages torn out of a memoir, at times autobiographical, at times phantasmagoric. Leaving the listener to discern what is fact and what is fiction, what it most clear is that all the songs come from common truths about love, loss and triumph.
The Battle of Land and Sea have spent the better half of 2007 planting roots. They've found a home with indie label Notenuf Records, been a featured artist on MySpace and their new hometown of Portland has embraced them with open arms. With the worldwide release in January 2008, The Battle of Land and Sea will be touring North America and the UK in clubs and living rooms spreading the quiet word.
1. saltwater queen
3. the beautiful ones
4. harden my heart
5. six days
6. i built the sea
8. you are a sailor