Sebastian Blanck’s Alibi Coast is a folk album with an intimate feel. Blanck’s vocals are heavily doubled in an attempt to sound harmonized and choral (think: Fleet Foxes). As the album plays, the songs begin to melt together, making them seem more like one long track rather than a collection of those which have been placed together.

 

One of the highlights of the album is “At Arms Length”, a delicate love song based in keys and acoustic guitar. Blanck’s lyrics suit the song’s simple melody; they are poetic and stand out: “Don’t drown in modesty/ I’ve seen through your nightgown/ How much a halo weighs and how it pulls you down… I feel paralyzed, someone’s broken my will/ Like a frozen lake that’s cracked but holds you still.”

“Nothing Left To Lose” is another poignant, well-written song, but the other songs on Alibi Coast which stand out seem to be those with guest female vocals. The female ranges accompany Blanck’s voice beautifully and add more interest and harmony to the choral sound; Caroline Polachek of Chairlift, Becky Stark of Lavender Diamond, and Lia Ices all appear on the album. “Don’t Let The Darkness Gather Me”, featuring Becky Stark is one of the most striking on the album, showcasing a haunting exchange between the two.

Alibi Coast is a pleasant folk album, but its lack of variation can border on overloaded repetition. At times, the doubled vocals get tiring. It would be nice to hear Blanck’s voice with less of that treatment, as evidenced by the break on the end of “Tumbling Skies”, which was refreshingly vulnerable. However, the lyrical content is inspired and well thought-out, so the music seems more like a platform for the prose than something which would stand out on its own.

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