For Nashville trio The Silver Seas, Alaska isn’t just a state of the Union - it’s also a state of mind. Honey-voiced lead singer Daniel Tashian has never been, but the frozen vastness of the place seems to offer up all kinds of possibilities, not unlike his band’s magnificent fourth album.

Silver Suns are keen students of classic seventies song writing and the tang and twang of Americana and Alaska overflows with high lonesome melodies and gorgeous playing featuring Wurlitzer, vibraphone and pedal steel. Tashian paints himself as a lovesick puppy on I’m The One but if he is, he’s a lovesick puppy with great taste.

Memories of alt country princes The Jayhawks and the hangdog grin of Ron Sexsmith at his most bittersweet are everywhere. Wild Honey reverberates with acoustic guitars, a sprinkling of banjo, and a scattering of piano notes and while Silver Seas can do good ol’ boy rock outs on Karaoke Star (which name checks the Ozark Mountain Daredevils), they also display a huge degree of sophistication recalling Joe Jackson's Stepping Out on the classy syncopation of A Night on The Town.

Who knows, maybe after Alaska Tashian and co will join Sufjan Stevens on his mission to record an album named after every state in the Union, from shining sea to shining (sliver) sea. This would be an immaculate addition to that possible travelogue.


Alan Corr