By: Hope Ankney
A Good Place to Sea, the debut album by singer/songwriter Austin Watson is less of a newcomer and more of a friendly hello. As the title suggests, the record takes on a nautical theme through most of the lyrical content and track names. The subject matter along with the cleverly detailed musicality allows one to feel like they’re enjoying a day on the beach or drifting amongst the tide in the ocean. From Watson’s smooth vocals reminiscent of 90’s indie artists to the album’s artwork, the project is one that’s difficult not to enjoy from start to finish.
The bold contrast of Watson’s work from the general debut record is the risk of highlighting more interludes and purely instrumental tracks over those featuring a voice. It’s a pleasant pay-off as there never seems to be a lull that’s typically present in attempted interludes of fresh artists. In fact, the vocals are a sweet treat complimentary to the waxing and waning sounds Watson curates. A Good Place to Sea doesn’t depend on vocals to generate success- instead pushing the focus on the music to showcase talent.
Even though not all tracks feature lyrics, the album cohesively carries a story that does evoke the wading one feels being held by light waves. In fact, a song that does hold lyrics, “Sermon,” makes itself known by tackling a more controversial topic head-on. The song directly chronicles the relationship one has with religion- specifically God. With a laidback vibe and moody synths, Watson is heard singing glory to God, putting all his strength and faith into him. It proves to be a soothing tune in the wake of life’s realities for the vocalist. Regardless of one’s view on religion, “Sermon” is a track that can be universally appreciated for what it brings to the album both musically and lyrically.
Whether you’re taking a drive to clear your mind or in need of a chilled atmosphere, Austin Watson’s A Good Place to Sea is an ideal record to spin. Sounding as if it could be featured as the background music of any indie Netflix film, this album fits the easy going, soft-art aesthetic that I’m sure plenty will appreciate.