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White Sea \ Tropical Odds [TWI 1223 / CD]

Tropical Odds is the second album by White Sea, the solo alias adopted by American singer, songwriter and producer Morgan Kibby.

Born in Alaska, and now a resident of Los Angeles, Morgan fronted The Romanovs before joining acclaimed electronic music group M83 in 2007, co-writing, arranging and playing keyboards on the albums Saturdays = Youth and Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, as well as completing several world tours.

As White Sea, her first solo album In Cold Blood arrived in 2014, a dramatic debut praised by Billboard for its 'canyon-sized hooks, knowingly grandiose melodies and succulent vocals' and judged 'pop's newest break-up classic' by Flavourwire. Outside of M83 Morgan has also collaborated with artists such as Greg Kurstin, Panic! at the Disco, Mark Ronson and School of Seven Bells, remixed Ellie Goulding and Britney Spears, and composed the award winning soundtrack to Eva Husson's provocative 2016 movie Bang Gang.

New album Tropical Odds stems from an interactive project launched via White Sea's website featuring digital singles and videos released at regular intervals throughout 2015 and 2016. 'Generally being able to create and mix and master my solo material within days has given me the direct freedom to share songs I want people to hear,' explained Morgan. 'In short, if I write something that I like - I put it out!'

Now gathered together in album form, the musical moods on Tropical Odds range from the sombre reflections of Gangster No. 1 and Yesterday to the hedonistic rush of Stay Young, Get Stoned and Never a Woman, high drama on Bloodline and Arcadia, and heartbreaking balladry on Secret, One Bad Eye and Lessons.

Vinyl edition includes free digital copy of the album. A postcard signed by Morgan will also be enclosed with the first 100 mailorder copies ordered direct from Crépuscule.

CD tracklist:

01. Bloodline
02. Arcadia
03. Yesterday
04. Stay Young, Get Stoned
05. Never A Woman
06. Bloodmoon
07. Ellipses
08. Secret
09. Gangster No. 1
10. One Bad Eye
11. Lessons

Vinyl tracklist:

A1. Bloodline
A2. Arcadia
A3. Yesterday
A4. Stay Young, Get Stoned
A5. Never A Woman
B1. Bloodmoon
B2. Ellipses
B2. Secret
B4. Gangster No. 1
B5. One Bad Eye

Available on vinyl and CD from May 2017. Mailorder copies of the CD are shipped in a special LDDC slipcase. To order either format please select correct shipping option and click on Add To Cart button below cover image, or else contact LDDC by email for other payment methods.

Official White Sea website: http://whiteseamusic.com.





Tropical Odds [TWI 1233]
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Reviews:

"If you're a music fan, chances are you know Morgan Kibby. Touring with M83 for the better part of a decade earned her the nickname 'Keyboard Girl,' and her co-writing on the 2011 album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming helped earn the band a Grammy nomination. Lately, Kibby works more as a soundtrack composer than a pop musician, but her solo work as White Sea has continued. Written over the course of two years, sophomore album Tropical Odds runs parallel to the musician's burgeoning scoring career, as Kibby explores different forms of polished pop, each showcasing a complex tangle of emotion. The release's well-earned moments of bombast all serve its thematic explorations. Nature versus nature. Embracing the maturation process. Finding comfort in your own skin. It can be intense. Frantic single Stay Young Get Stoned may hinge on a joke (Kibby admits she can't smoke), but its theme - the overwhelming desire to reject adulthood - rings true. But for all the tricky topics tackled - personal flaws and ex-lovers included - nothing affects quite like the two closing tracks: Lessons, and the folk-fueled One Bad Eye" (Nylon, 05/2017)

"Tropical Odds can be compared favourably to In Cold Blood to the point where one can claim it's even better. Gangster No. 1 is a propulsive, regretful number that captures the ennui of ageing in stark fashion, light piano pounds decorating an eternally-sawing synth cello over which Kibby lays stark lyrics. While she talks about vague traumatic heritages in Bloodline and serves as some sort of omniscient spectre in the appropriately ghostly One Bad Eye, Kibby has a way of leaning toward specificity but backing out at the last second, lest something become too identifiable. While certain tropes may echo that of other current pop stars - Tove Lo could've easily used a song like Yesterday to ground her last record - Tropical Odds still succeeds because all the songs, despite being recorded and released piecemeal over the course of a few years, still sound like they come from the same artistic place, all cohering together while still sounding like a logical progression from In Cold Blood."

"Yet while descriptors alone make Tropical Odds sound like a morose, late-night-drive kind of record, Kibby still manages to find great moments of levity too. Never a Woman starts with a synth riff right out of an 80s educational video but soon turns it into a dance number about the city killing you and wanting to be alone romantically. It's thrilling stuff, and it comes right after Stay Young, Get Stoned, a hell of a rallying cry that echoes some of Gangster No. 1's sentiments but with a much more optimistic lilt. Make no mistake: even if it wasn't intended ever to be compiled as an album, perhaps Kibby decided to put one out because while an outpouring of songs is fine, a proper album makes for a cohesive, quantifiable statement, one that serves as a signpost for an artist's career. Even with lesser songs like Secret still doting the tracklist, White Sea's lost-in-a-loveless-city persona - at times stoic and at times wry - nonetheless is even more fascinating here than on her debut full-length. She may not have intended to ever make a second album, just as how this review isn't supposed to exist, but Kibby is one of the more compelling pop artists out there today, and hopefully by the time she releases her fifth effort, not only will we not have to question whether or not a review will be coming out for it, we'll all just be wondering if she managed to top her last masterpiece." (Popmatters, 07/2017)

"Tropical Odds is the follow up to In Cold Blood and a pure electropop delight it is indeed. White Sea here has produced what I imagine is one of the most commercial releases ever on Les Disques du Crepuscule, but also one of depth and class. For a start Morgan Kibby has a pristine, clear voice and manages to use it effectively without showing off or over-singing. Her songs also have a keen eye for detail and hard truths, rather than the simple-minded smokescreen of more cynical Pop outfits. The vocals combine perfectly with the musical backdrop of electronic beats to construct a delicate, gorgeous dream pop landscape that shifts from the sparsely arranged One Bad Eye to the more full-sounding and upbeat Never A Woman. The breathy, euphoric Ellipses is a real gem here, and despite the hedonism implied by the title, Stay Young, Get Stoned has more to do with the slowed down, sad chill of the 4AD label than any party ravers. Gangster No. 1 is a beautifully sung piece of good old fashioned, rollicking pop music and set closer Lessons seems to even have a slight country tinge built into its electronic pulse, a little Americana in the machine.

For the most part Tropical Odds is chilled, laid back pop with uplifting vocal melodies and deep set sense of regret and longing. There is a sorrowful background for every groove driven rush of optimism and light, captured here is the remorse of a clubber, the wronged soul, the poor people caught in the middle, the morning after. She sings "resisting was pointless" in Yesterday, a sad, sad song of the end of a love affair, but it's done with class. Though sounding great and full of brio, White Sea has clearly had to learn some hard lessons along the way. This record certainly wouldn't be out of place in the charts and it would definitely up the quality on offer if it was. I would say that White Sea do deserve that sort of success given the evidence on show. Tropical Odds is as classy a 2017 pop album as I've heard" (Louder Than War, 05/2017)

"Morgan Kibby will be a name familiar to fans of dream-pop heavyweights M83's earlier work, including the Grammy-nominated 2011 hit album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. Despite the album's success, it was to prove to be her swansong with the band, before going solo under the nom-de-plume White Sea and piecing together a string of online singles, artsy videos and the debut album In Cold Blood. Three years later and Crépuscule continues its occasional flirtation with fist-pumping electronic power-pop with Kibby's third album (if you include her soundtrack work on the decidely controversial arthouse movie Bang Gang). Assured, confident and packed with pop nuggets, Tropical Odds is full of singles. Kibby's vocals are big, her arrangements bigger (in a similar style to Tegan and Sara or La Roux) and the likes of Tove Lo, Katy Perry and Chvrches might do well to take note."

"Never A Woman and Stay Young, Get Stoned sound like arena anthems to these ears, a description that might have some of you running scared but you shouldn't dismiss or deny Kibby's attention to pop detail. Perhaps the best songs here are the darker, minor-key ones - Yesterday, Secret and Bloodline have a distinctly gothic overtone while the album's centrepiece Gangster No. 1 is a smoky, smouldering electro-ballad that could bluetooth your underwear off, it's so sultry and contemporary in mood. The album ends on two slow-beat epics - the war-torn One Bad Eye and the CD-only bonus track Lessons, both of which serve only to underline Kibby's knack of knocking out emotive ballads without sounding like a major-label dullard. She's going for it. Only Ellipses sounds a tad overblown to these ears but overall Tropical Odds has far-reaching appeal. Terrific Saville-esque sleeve too" (Flipside, 04/2017)