Before I Saw The Sea is a song about anticipation and change. The moments in which we feel the certainties that hold us securely in place come adrift. Out now, the first single from Me and My Friends’ forthcoming album of the same name is an immersive night time meditation conceived during lockdown, its deliciously laidback groove combining bittersweet nostalgia with a hypnotic rhythmic interplay. This is a record made to accompany journeys when none could be made, as we awaited the parting of the stormy clouds.
Lockdowns brought us into a collective sense of time that was abruptly unhurried, yet filled with an urgent sense of anticipation. Before I saw the sea is a reflection of this state of being, its slow-burning Afrobeat overlaid with singer and songwriter Nick Rasle’s haunting, honey-dipped vocal brimming with understated melancholy. The song brings us into the moment before a decision is made on a relationship, into a clarity of thought brought forth when awaking away from our place of routine.
“There is a house by the sea on Portland that I’ve stayed at many times, where the bed has a view over the sea. I wanted to convey the feeling of waking up there, looking out at the cloudy sun hanging low over the waves, with your mind free to wander, sometimes into uncomfortable places”. Singer and Guitarist, Nick Rasle
Me and My Friends was started over a decade ago, growing from the basements of Leeds to tours across Europe. The quintet’s unique blend of Afrobeat-inspired grooves, rich vocal harmonies, languidly graceful cello and playfully funky clarinet has carved out their very own niche of sun-drenched music for the soul, gaining support from the likes of Gilles Peterson, FiP, Soundway Records, Nubiyan Twist and Quantic.
Before I Saw The Sea is an intimate, reflective take on the band’s signature sound, subtly merging influences as diverse as Fatoumata Diawara, Khruangbin, Billie Holiday and Alabaster DePlume into one new sonic palette. Built through a series of experimental, pandemic-enforced Zoom writing sessions, this music reflects a thread held onto, a collective sense of purpose, as all else seemed to become untethered.
03/03 – Brudenell Social, Leeds
04/03 – Victoria Hall, Settle
10/03 – Cornish Bank, Falmouth
11/03 – Jam Jar, Bristol
17/03 – Cowley Social Club, Oxford
18/03 – The Jago, London
31/03 – Cobalt Studios, Newcastle
01/04 – Liverpool Philharmonic