Following on three years after their number 1 album (UK official Americana charts) ‘The Imperial’, the band released The Sea Drift on February 11th 2022 on Décor Records. “The idea for the THE SEA DRIFT began with my and Amy’s mutual love of Tony Joe White,” says Delines guitarist and songwriter Willy Vlautin. “We used to have conversations about his records and she’d always joke, ‘Just write me Rainy Night in Georgia.’ Jesus, what a tall order, but I guess in my own way I started trying.”
With the seeds of THE SEA DRIFT planted, Vlautin and Boone began talking about the ideal setting for the songs – Texas, where Amy lived for years, and also the Gulf Coast, which they both love. Vlautin started writing songs set in that area and soon the band decided to create a whole record in that world, a record drifting up and down the Gulf Coast.
Using longtime producer John Morgan Askew and working for the first time in his new studio, Bocce, the band leaned on the rhythm section of bass player, Freddy Trujillo and drummer Sean Oldham to get the sound right. Vlautin says, “With Freddy you have one of the best soul bass players around and Sean’s a seriously cool jazz drummer and a great arranger. THE SEA DRIFT sessions were also the first time since Amy had been injured that she felt strong and confident in the studio, and you can really hear it on this record. There’s strength to her voice, the strength of someone who’s overcome a lot of trauma and pain.”
Cory Gray adds “I worked up some arrangements that gave a nod to a traditional soul sound. THE SEA DRIFT is our most visual record yet. The lyrics are vignettes and the instrumentation, including the dramatic string and horn parts, are meant to evoke the mood as if it were a film.”
From Little Earl, the tale of two brothers fleeing a convenience store after a shop-lifting-gone-wrong-incident, to Drowning in Plain Sight, where a middle-aged woman drives aimlessly outside of Galveston unable to go home to her waiting family. In All Along The Ride you’re in the car as a couple’s relationship disintegrates on a drive back from Corpus Christi. There’s the cinematic Surfers in Twilight, the tale a woman leaving work to find her boyfriend arrested on a seaside boardwalk to the 60’s pop of Kid Codeine and the soul romance of Hold Me Slow..
Vlautin is no stranger to critical acclaim in the US, UK, and Europe, enjoying cult success and rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times, Uncut, Hot Press, Rolling Stone and Mojo Magazine, both as a novelist with six books under his belt (two of his books have become major films), and as the former front man of alt-country outfit Richmond Fontaine whom released over ten albums.
The Delines debut record, COLFAX, appeared in 2014 and surprised fans and critics alike. Evoking a beat-up Dusty Springfield or a weary Rickie Lee Jones, COLFAX made over a dozen top ten year end lists. It was a four-year wait until their sophomore effort, THE IMPERIAL was released. Amy spent much of that time in hospital beds recovering from serious injuries sustained in a car accident in Austin, Texas. When she was just strong enough to stand she finished THE IMPERIAL, a record that spent two weeks on top of the UK charts with the band playing sold out shows across the UK and Europe.