Sea Wolf prepared to bring indie folk rock to the Wex
N. SHUMATE, OUT OF THE BLUE     posted: Oct. 7, 2009
Within the realm of singer-songwriters is a man who writes
catchy, solid song structures with unique lyrics that culminate vivid
imagery fused with relatable characters: Alex Brown Church.  

Church is the vocalist, guitarist and creator of Sea Wolf—an indie-
folk rock band with comparisons to Iron and Wine and Angus and
Julia Stone.  The band is currently touring in support of their
recent sophomore album release
White Water, White Bloom.

“The new album has more of a fuller-band feel making it more
dynamic,” said Church in a phone interview while navigating his
GPS system in Milwaukee, WI. “With the help of producer Mike
Mogis (Bright Eyes, Cursive) we added a string quartet, and the
first album (
Leaves in the River) didn’t have much drumming, but
White Water there are only two songs without drum parts.”

To encompass the complete-band sound live on stage, Church
added another guitar player and cellist to the current lineup.

“It’s always a little stressful to choose at first before you know
who’s out there, but it’s came together pretty well and we have a
core group now,” said Church.  

On writing music, the California native said he usually begins with
different guitar chords to create a melody.

“I wait until I have an entire song so I know where the verses,
choruses and bridges of the song are before I write lyrics,” said

With the band named after author Jack London’s 1904 classic
novel, Church said he sometimes finds lyrical inspiration in books.

“I kind of have a collection of books and poetry that I read when I’
m stuck for words.  Not really for the themes, but more of
language that gives me ideas to kind of work with a little bit,” said

Church said one of his favorite authors is Cormac McCarthy
("The Road," "The Border Trilogy," "No Country For Old Men")
despite McCarthy's darker writing style.

Prior to Sea Wolf and while touring with his previous band, Irving,
Church said he fell for a girl in Canada with which such love also
inspired his writing.  Church wrote all but 2 songs for the new
album while staying with her in Montreal.

“I would say the writing is more optimistic. The songs are still kind
of dark, but for the most part it’s a ray of hope, a ray of light,”
said Church.
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Growing up in a small historic gold rush town on the hills of the
Sierra Nevada, Church said he became interested in music around
8 years old.

Surrounded by an old western environment with buildings on both
sides and elevated sidewalks, Church said he walked downtown
to frequently hear a bluegrass band perform on the street.

“I loved watching them play,” said Church.  “The first time I saw
them I wanted to learn how to play the fiddle.”  

From there his mom set him up with violin lessons, but his teacher
was a classical violinist, and Church said he was not interested in
the classical violin style.

“She was teaching me stuff I wasn’t interested in for a year,”
said Church.  “After that in high school I took bass guitar lessons
and later taught myself how to play guitar and started writing

Despite starting his musical journey with disinterest in classical
style, and also spending time at New York University as a film
student, Church has gone on to establish a foundation of popularity
with Sea Wolf.  

Since forming in 2003, Sea Wolf has written a song response by
request to Augusten Burroughs’ book “A Wolf at the Table,” the
band had their song “You’re A Wolf” featured in a General
Motors’ ad during the Bijing Olympic Games, and their song “Ses
Monuments” appeared in a Radio Shack holiday advertising

Most recently, Sea Wolf was asked to contribute a song for the
New Moon soundtrack alongside Death Cab For Cutie, Thom
Yorke, Grizzly Bear and others.

“It’ll be a new song that hasn’t been released called ‘The Violent
Hour,’” said Church.  “It was actually recorded for something
else originally.”

For the current tour, Sea Wolf will perform songs from both

“Right now I like playing ‘Turn The Dirt Over’ live, I really like
the melody of that one,” Church said.

Sea Wolf is performing tonight at 9pm in the Wexner Center For
The Arts’ Performance Space with Sara Lov and Port O’Brien.
Tickets are $9.
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