Band of the Day

2012.03.05

The Silver Seas

One of Nashville's best kept secrets will woo you with their charming pop
I know I dream a lot, but I could do it full time, if the position was open.
lyrics from Imaginary Girl

The Silver Seas are a pop-rock band from Nashville, Tennessee, that first formed around Daniel Tashian (vocals, guitar) and Jason Lehning (producer, keyboardist). Tashian, son of country duo Barry and Holly Tashian, was already an established solo artist before enlisting the help of Lehning. The two added David Gehrke (drums) to round out the lineup, and do not have a permanent bassist. Originally known as The Bees, copyright issues (a UK band was also using the name The Bees) led them to change their name to The Silver Seas. After the independent release of their debut album, Starry Gazey Pie, released in 2004, the band toured as an opening act for Guster. In 2006, they released High Society, which was re-released in 2007 on Los Angeles-based label Cheap Lullaby. The album was nominated for best pop/rock album of the year at the 7th annual Independent Music Awards. In 2010, the band independently released their third album, Château Revenge, which was followed by a 2011 “blue edition” featuring acoustic versions of the LP's 12 songs.

When you're in a band, finally settling on a suitable name is almost like a right of passage. A band name makes up a huge part of your identity. Imagine if The Beatles stuck with the name The Quarrymen, or if Red Hot Chili Peppers had kept Tony Flow and the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. Doesn't have quite the same snappiness, does it? For Nashville's The Silver Seas, the name that first defined them was The Bees. However, copyright issues from a UK band also known as The Bees (or A Band Of Bees in the US), led them to changing their name to The Silver Seas. Somehow this almost seems like a blessing in disguise. Their new name conjures images of glimmers of moonlight reflecting off of a pitch black body of water, which perfectly suits the tone of their music. Songs like “Starry Gazey Pie,” the title track from their 2004 debut album, are the kind that you'll want to listen to while driving to a dark, secluded area to catch a meteor shower in all of its glory. It starts with the faint sound of laughter, followed by a shimmering bed of percussion and singer Daniel Tashian singing surreal lines like, “Hold me up to the sunlight/let my wings unfold/like a butterfly” in his soothing croon. While songs like “Starry Gazey Pie” have more of a celestial feel, others like “Ms. November” (from 2006's High Society) are more autumnal—and not just because of the song title. It has that warm, fuzzy and nostalgic feel of seasons changing, with Tashian's vocals calling out the main lines and a chorus of “ahh-ahh's” building up a response. Similarly, “Imaginary Girl” could be the song you'd want to put on while strolling through a park covered in fallen leaves, trying to take in the last few rays of sun before it disappears for the winter. A jolly piano riff plays nicely with acoustic guitar-picking that sounds effortless, but in the way that only extremely accomplished guitarists can pull off. In their latest album, 2010's Château Revenge (which was also released as an acoustic version in 2011), The Silver Seas try their hand at richer sounds, adding stringed instrumentation to songs like “Kid” and “From My Windowsill.” The latter is utterly romantic, with strings diving elegantly alongside electric guitar riffs, as if The Silver Seas have just rolled up under your window with a mini orchestra in tow, in an attempt to woo you with their music. Consider us successfully wooed.