The Belle Sounds
The Sea Within
Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Sept. 7, 2018
As the album title indicates, The Sea Within is arranged trough to trough. Husband-wife duo Noëlle Hampton and André Moran fuel the swell with songs such as "Like a Villain," his punchy, high-octane guitar acting as foil to her effortless soprano, comfortable and sure in its delivery. Sprawling eight-minute crest "Legend of the Silver Moon" employs four-on-the-floor urgency to bolster Moran's fret dancing, then collapses into dreamlike meditations from Hampton. That descent includes subtle organ and vocal harmonies, which cast a gentle sepia glow on "Transcendental" and shore up the Seventies bona fides first offered on the band's 2013 debut. The stark "Setting of the Summer Sun" roots itself in sparse guitar work and ethereal vox, and brings a smooth ride to a satisfying ebb.