Sugarmoon’s third single “Under The Sea” transports you to a paradisiacal beach somewhere in a classic 50s surfer romp. Following up their last single “Autumn Leaves” and showing a whole new side of the folk-pop band, “Under The Sea” is the call for spring we all need.
Sugarmoon – Under The Sea
A ukulele, played by Sugarmoon’s multi-instrumentalist Sophie Jones, welcomes us into the song with a playful intro, shortly thereafter joined by bassist Dave Martin, as well as lead-singer and writer Ryan McMurtry. The use of the distorted yet soft electric guitar takes the listener for a wander beneath the waves, tastefully contrasting the acoustic strums of the ukulele. McMurtry’s vocals match the song’s essence to a tee, evoking the raw, vintage vibes of The Beatles.
“If you want to go for a swim with me, then say yeah!”
“Yeah, yeah!” Once the charming call and response style in the backing vocals is introduced, it is hard not to sing along. A brilliant way to capture the audience. By the end, “Under The Sea” has you entranced and swaying like a reef under the waves.
The single draws you, well, under the sea and invites you on a stroll beneath the waves. Though there is no clear cut story structure, it presents a call to action: to let go of your troubles, if just for a few minutes and dance to the swing of the tune. In a year that has been tough on many, “Under The Sea” offers a moment of levity.
Ryan McMurtry speaks fondly about the playful nature of the track and its release. “After a difficult year, we felt it was time for something fun. We have been playing Under The Sea at live shows since we started around the end of 2019. We like to throw in little weird surprises for audiences – it’s something to laugh about and remember with a smile,” he says.
Sugarmoon is also serving up some delightful visuals to accompany the already wonderful experience of listening to “Under The Sea”. A stop-motion animation by award-winning Bristol animator Harriett Bradbury is set to release on 2nd April, in which the band comes to life as tuneful sea creatures, giving us a special underwater live show featuring crabs, turtles, whales and more.
The project was supported by Arts Council England. Sugarmoon’s Sophie Jones says: “We are so grateful to Arts Council England for believing in this idea, and supporting us with funding to create the track and make the video come to fruition.”
“Under The Sea” offers some carefree escapism. It is a testament to the bands polite refusal to be boxed into a specific genre, preferring to play with different styles of music and infusing them with the unique “Sugarmoon” character. The fun and enjoyment in the song is contagious as Sugarmoon sings in the spring with a twinkle in their eye.
Sugarmoon are an indie folk-pop band based in Bristol, UK. Having emerged in late 2019, armed with original songs rooted in vintage folk-pop, they have refused to settle in a particular genre. Amassing a busy schedule of gigs in their native Bristol, including at Crofters Rights, Cafe Kino and Mr Wolf’s, they have also sold out performances for global music collective Sofar Sounds. While every member of the band contributes to the backing vocals, Ryan McMurtry is the band’s lead singer, songwriter and guitarist. Sophie Jones peppers live shows with an array of instruments, working her way through guitar, saxophone, ukulele and flute, as well as lead and backing vocals. On bass is Dave Martin, formerly of Holy Moly & The Crackers. On keys is Joe Schutz and drums, Ollie Grant.
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Words Maya Nalani