The Eastern Sea


A couple of years ago, I watched lead singer of the Eastern Sea Matt Hines play a show solo and was really impressed with his panache for songcraft and the way he layered vocal melodies and shimmering guitar. But now, with the Eastern Sea as a full five piece – guitar, bass, keyboards, trumpet, and drums – what was once a quiet, understated set of emotional songs is now fully formed pieces of music that contain intricate interplay between all parts, including the songwriter.

As a band, I have watched the Eastern Sea grow more confident with every show and today they looked like bonified SXSW veterans, sweating, much like the rest of the bands that have come through the Factory today, and boasting 15 shows throughout the week.


Their new album “Plague” is their first full-length and if “Wasn’t For Love” – their set opener, which is off the new LP – is any indication, then it’s sure to be quite the sonic pursuit. The Eastern Sea could blow out the space. With five people in their group it would be easy to boost their songs simply by using volume, but they play with dynamic precision. Each member adds their bit for the sake of the music. If it was in the song’s best interest to bash the trumpet over the keyboards, I’m sure the Eastern Sea would have done it.

Needless to say, this is one of Austin’s best bands and one that is sure to break out quickly. After all, A&R types would be foolish to ignore them.

You can watch their full set and their take away show right here:

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