Sons Of The Sea is the second solo release from Brandon Boyd, best known as the lead singer of the band Incubus, working alongside producer Brendan O’Brien under the name Sons Of The Sea. In June of this year, Sons Of The Sea released the four track Compass EP, giving fans a glimpse of this new collaboration.
The opener track ‘Jet Black Crow’ builds from choral vocals to stomping guitars in the chorus with an almost effortless psychedelic edge. Boyd stated that the vision for this song came from his subconscious. “I was having very vivid dreams about this melody, and I was singing it in front of an audience of people. I didn’t know where it was coming from, but I knew I had to remember it.”
‘Great Escape’ moves slightly away from the pop feel of the album with a heavier tone. The guitars in the chorus coupled with Boyd’s vocals are reminiscent of an Incubus track from the early 2000s. The momentum of the album carries throughout ‘Come Together’ which offers a more unfamiliar sound but by this point it is clear that Boyd can comfortably and effortlessly swing from pop to rock and then back and forth again.
‘Where Do All The Songs Come From’ shows the brilliance of Boyd’s vocals and lyrics and by the time we’ve reached ‘Avalanche’ the pace of the album has slowed and with just a piano throughout most of the song, inviting the listener to sit back and contemplate these stunning vocals.
The pace picks up again with the penultimate track ‘Lady Black’, a song heavily influenced by O’Brien, before closing with a cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye’.
The album manages to achieve the perfect blend of rock and pop whilst highlighting the prominent vocals throughout. Sons Of The Sea is somewhat different to his previous solo effort, which sounded rather like another Incubus album, perhaps due to the collaboration with Brendan O’Brien, who provided the guitars for the album. O’Brien has been the lead producer for many bands over the years including Pearl Jam and Rage Against The Machine and has produced the last three of Incubus’ albums, however Boyd stated that this recent collaboration has produced 10 songs that are ‘more pop-influenced than anything Incubus has ever recorded’
Overall, Sons Of The Sea is the sound of a distinguished artist expressing some creative freedom and exploring unfamiliar territory with a familiar companion. What is clear is that with each release Boyd becomes lyrically stronger and bolder in his composition and Sons Of The Sea is definitely a collaboration to keep an ear out for.