The Seas We Sail, the debut full-length album from Tidewater, will be released on April 12th, available exclusively at iTunes and other digital outlets. Originally released independently in 2010, the one man band helmed by singer/songwriter Brett Allen followed it up with 2011’s EP The Way That I Want You, which peaked at #4 on iTunes’ Singer/Songwriter Chart. With the success of The Way That I Want You, it seemed like the right time to re-release The Seas We Sail as a digital only version including a new cover of the Matt Maher hit, “Christ Is Risen.”

With an army of acoustic guitars, a hearty dose of mandolin, plenty of piano, plus bits of programmed pulsation, Tidewater is just as diverse as it is innovative, drawing comparisons to such acts as Owl City, Dashboard Confessional and Five For Fighting. On The Seas We Sail, Allen dives beyond radio commonplace to weave a compelling web of unforgettable rhythms, introspective lyrics and plenty of porch pop personality.

“Tidewater’s more just a guy behind a piano or with an acoustic guitar; it’s actually hard to put a finger on,” notes Allen of his eclectic songwriting. “I’ve become obsessed with the mandolin thanks to Nickel Creek and now I follow The Punch Brothers, but there are also a lot of programmed beats in what I do. It’s kind of parallel in dynamic to Mumford and Sons, who mainly play folk instruments, but are so heavy with their constant strumming that they come across like Muse. With Tidewater, there may be some bluegrass instruments, but there’s plenty of pop and rock that might appeal to fans of John Mayer, Howie Day or Matt Wertz with my own twist.”

The Seas We Sail, produced by Kevin Gales, is filled with Tidewater originals with the exception of Matt Maher’s “Christ is Risen.” Gales, whose production credits include luminaries like Sarah McLachlan, Bob Seger, Fiona Apple, Courtney Love, Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks, also co-wrote several tracks on the album.

As for the moniker, Tidewater is simply part of the street name where Allen grew up, though he also muses “there’s a certain vagueness and ambiguity to it that will hopefully make people curious about what I have to say.” He is consistently hopeful in its lyrical slant, following in the footsteps of Switchfoot, whose faith-informed messages still have no trouble translating to the world at large.

“There’s so much negativity out there that regardless of what you believe, my songs are angled more towards hope and less towards destructiveness,” says Allen, who hopes to be a positive voice amidst the current pop/rock spectrum. “I know it’s not necessarily fashionable to write happy and hopeful music, but we need more of it and I hope people can relate to that.”


HM covers from over the years

HM Magazine Turns 35

In 1985, Doug Van Pelt photocopied a letter-sized sheets of paper, bound them together, and handed them out in person on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. It's all digital now, but, along the way, Van Pelt stirred up quite a few waves, played some seriously heavy music, and made a few friends along the way. Here: A quick look back at the magazine's 35-year history with Van Pelt and new owner, David Stagg.


Full Feature
Employed to Serve

Forward Under a Dying Sun

Most of these days, the sun rises and sets on a world that feels like it's dying. Across the pond, where Employed to Serve calls home, they're learning how to support their latest record a year into its release. HM contributor Andrew Voigt recently sat down with Justine Jones to learn more about the band, marrying your bandmates, and their outside shot at touring with Rammstein.


Full Feature
Tigerwine 2020

A Disparate Vintage

On Tigerwine's latest, 'Nothing is for You,' vocalist and lyricist Trobee departs from the band's last effort as a concept record to write about an array subjects. Notably, Trobee tackles his evolution from rigid belief system to an acceptance and understanding of other ideas: "Through touring and becoming close with those very people I was taught to be afraid of, I realized how untrue it all is."


Full Feature
All Features