Since the release of the retro hilarious video for Inconceivable, fans of PEA SEA have awaited the release of his full-length album, titled The Debatable Land. Hailing from the small Scottish border town of Gretna, PEA SEA aka Chris Rollen started as a member of ‘cult’ outfit LES COX SPORTIFS. LES COX SPORTIF specialized in a satirical and earnest brand of anti-rock and roll. THE CORNSHED SISTERS and Newcastle, UK’s MILKY WIMPSHAKE have covered their songs. PEA SEA is a quieter, more personal solo project. The album, out on Sea Records, features FIELD MUSIC as the backing band, a group that made the Mercury Prize shortlist in 2012.
The album was made over the course of two years, and like a patchwork quilt, is something familiar and mismatched you can get wrapped up in. Featuring songs composed in the UK and since moving to Berlin, The Debatable Land is first and foremost a singer/songwriter album, with elements of folk, early rock and roll and a dash of dream pop, all held together by Rollen’s tremolo voice and wistful lyrics.
The intro and outro tracks feature clarinet by Tim Greaves and are classic bedroom project, recorded in (where else?) a bedroom in Neukölln. Rise Above Them is all longing and yearning, telling you “someone had their arms around me.” The album cover art features an image of the Navi line, a railway track that brought Irish laborers from a port city to the UK to work. Using this piece of history as inspiration, PEA SEA composed Mixing Up the Cordite. Inconceivable is the catchiest track of the album.
So pour yourself a cup of tea, find a comfortable horizontal position, and let this album take you all various places, one minute it’s the classic 4/4 rocker Dead Beat Formula, then find yourself dreaming of “the girl next door moving away” (Come Over). Think about what you remember, what you wish you could forget, and what you hold dear.