One listen to its opener, “Another Bad Night’s Sleep,” dashed any doubts. Barbed with self-deprecating wit, singer-guitarist Daniel Tashian bemoans a relationship well past its expiration date. Delivered with a wink and a smile, he sings, “Baby, I need a long walk off a short pier / Couldn’t drink enough to make the world disappear / A good friend, a bitter enemy / Or I could stay with you and get another bad night’s sleep.” The irony of juxtaposing downright depressing lyrics against a backdrop of joyful tunes is nothing new, but the Silver Seas do it so masterfully you’d think they were the first.
Tashian’s ability to write a hook is amplified by the talents of the rest of the band — keyboardist Jason Lehning, bassist Lex Price, and drummer David Gehrke — who round out the arrangements, giving them a decidedly ’70s bend without making them sound like a pastiche. On “What’s the Drawback?” the Silver Seas go so far as to name-check Jeff Lynne’s band and signature sound, invoking the “magic chords of the E.L.O.” It’s not all AM Gold, though, on Château Revenge: there are also tender moments (“From My Windowsill,” first recorded by fellow Nashvillian David Mead on 2009’s Almost and Always) and jubilant celebrations (the breezy “Jane” and “Candy”) on this stellar collection.
The bottom line is this: Château Revenge is one of the best albums released so far this year, the sort of record where, before you know it, you’ve listened to it three times and you’re singing along. It’s familiar and new all at once, and deserves a spot in your library.