The voice pauses and delivers a biting accent, all while maintaining an airy quality. In the era of Auto-Tune and other such technological refinements of sound, The Sea and Cake’s lead singer Sam Prekop has pipes valued by critics for their ability to produce similar effects without any help.

The Sea and Cake

Tonight at 8 p.m.
The Magic Stick
Tickets from $15


The Sea and Cake will perform at The Magic Stick in Detroit tonight, playing songs from the band’s new album, The Moonlight Butterfly. In an interview with The Michigan Daily, Prekop said the album allows the whims of other members of the band, while simultaneously delivering a work that innovates the sound listeners have come to associate with The Sea and Cake.

Title track “The Moonlight Butterfly” is an example of The Sea and Cake’s various interests. It starts small but grows to fully submerge the listener in four minutes of broadening electronic experimentation.

“Basically, that was (drummer) John McEntire’s song, in the guise of The Sea and Cake,” Prekop said.

Until this album, the bandmates’ individual musical elements were just subtly present, but now they are being thrust into the limelight, Prekop said.

“It reflects our broad interests, and I guess we’re more overt about it here,” he said.

The Sea and Cake still maintains a cohesive identity that intends to be exploratory. The song “Inn Keeping” demonstrates how the band integrates it into the multifaceted, multilayered timbre that is The Sea and Cake.

“I think (‘Inn Keeping’) is a happy accident, landing on that sequence and messing around with it, and hearing that it can be so malleable yet cohesive,” Prekop said. “I’m pretty happy with that. It’s been the centerpiece of our shows.”

The Sea and Cake has been around since the mid ’90s, and over the years it has undergone countless developments. Originally, the group pursued a traditional rock sound with brashness and bombast. But the year 2000 arrived with the definitive album Oui, which took the edge off things. In the years before Oui, the band members had pursued solo interests and other side projects, and this period of individual creative fermentation manifested itself in a more sophisticated pop that featured ambient depths and jazz-influenced rhythmic structures. This history directly impacted the current sound of The Sea and Cake.

Prekop said another album is being written as a companion to The Moonlight Butterfly.

“I can’t predict exactly what it will sound like, because it will have the tendency of The Moonlight Butterfly to build upon what we’ve just done,” he said.

Having spent a portion of last month touring in South America, the bandmates will arrive in Detroit fresh yet well rehearsed to begin their North American performances, which extend into mid-December. The Magic Stick will showcase The Sea and Cake in its fleeting prime, before it disintegrates into different solo interests and side projects.

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