Ahead of the release of new album Everything Was Forever, founding member and guitarist Martin Noble mines his music memory for the albums that influenced him most
Sea Power is the new name of the band formerly known as British Sea Power, and the Brighton-based six-piece band’s first album using it, Everything Was Forever, heralds their new era. Considering their old name “a hostage to fortune, a name that could easily be misinterpreted as narrowly nationalistic,” change was due.
In an article in the Guardian they explained the change thus: “Removing the word ‘British’ does NOT indicate any aversion to the British Isles whatsoever. We all feel immensely fortunate to have grown up in these islands. We love these lands – the physical beauty, our diversity, our people, our culture and much of our history. But now we are just Sea Power – staring out at the wonderful waves, a pastime this island nation understands more than most.”
Two decades on from their debut The Decline Of British Sea Power, their latest work is arguably their most diverse yet, with a title imbued with sonorous fatalism and an admonitory clarion call to act on our changing planet now, or soon reach a state where action is impossible. Ahead of its release, founding member and guitarist Martin Noble mined his music memory for the albums that have influenced him most for Sea Power’s This Music Made Me…
The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground
Why this one? I could have gone for any of the Velvets albums, to be honest. Their skilful songwriting, the breadth of moods and styles, from delicate heartbreak to dissonant feedback filled monsters. The lyrical genius. Poetry ranging from sinister, touching, fun and surreal.
So many great timeless lines that any poet laureate would be proud of. I think if pushed comes to shove, the Velvets are my favourite of all time band. There, I’ve said it!
This one album has the lovely Pale Blue Eyes and After Hours sung by the great Maureen ‘Mo’ Tucker.
New Order – Power Corruption And Lies
I’m a big fan of Joy Division and New Order. Age Of Consent and Your Silent Face are two of my favourite New Order songs. Out of all the JD and NO back catalogue, these two songs get a lot of heavy rotation.
I like how Bernard Sumner has lots of everyday conversational lines in his lyrics. The way he sings them holds a lot of power and makes them feel very profound and emotional. It’s a great skill.
And there is that little bit of levity in Your Silent Face when he sings “why don’t you… piss off” is priceless.
Miles Davis – In A Silent Way
I went inter-railing around Europe when I was 16.
We went on lots of those overnight sleeper trains to save money on accommodation, and also not waste the daytime travelling. The Eastern European trains with sturdy, manual door handles, slide down windows, real charm.
Looking out into the Slovakian night sky, with fork lightning as far as the eye could see and In A Silent Way soundtracking the whole thing was a memory I’ll never forget.
Pavement – Slanted And Enchanted
I met Jan for the first time outside a University lecture hall in our first year. We were both late for a psychology lecture and were wondering whether we should go in or not. For some reason we quickly learned that we both loved this album and sacked off the lecture and went to the cafe to basically from a band.
Pavement are a complex band, one that you need to hear a full album to understand. If you’ve only heard Cut Your Hair you probably think they are like Weezer.
They followed this album with possibly my favourite Pavement release,The Watery Domestic EP. Soooo good.
Neu! – Neu!
I think Hero was the first track I heard from Neu! I thought it was an early Happy Mondays rocker, with Shaun Ryder fully on-the-pop.
We used to play Fur Immer as our walk on track. Neu! have been a big influence on the band. It might not be obvious to most, but on some tracks it’s hard to hide, to be honest. We learned to enjoy that perpetual motion groove. The ebb and flow. The exciting motorik journey into the unknown, and without too much virtuosity required.
Just vibes, man.
Teenage Fanclub – Bandwagonesque
This is one of those records I go back to a lot. Branded onto my heart and brain from a young age.
It has some base key ingredients of Big Star, Neil Young and Status Quo, but they really take things into their own hands. The gorgeous first track The Concept is followed by Satan, a fucking noisy racket.
The last three tracks of Alcoholiday, Guiding Star and Is This Music? make a glorious end, lifting this album into greatness.
Iggy And The Stooges – Raw Power
I almost went for one of the early Stooges albums, but this one is off the chart. It sounds incredible.
Iggy is one inspirational dude. They knew how to create excitement. When David Bowie came near him he put out some incredible music.
I love his The Idiot phase too. I’ve been in some one-off NYE party bands with friends and we’ve covered Dog Food and Success. They were a lorra lorra fun.
Talking Heads – Remain In Light
Wonky grooves. Amazing Tom Tom Club rhythms. It sounded like machines malfunctioning and learning how to walk.
David Byrne being weird and wired that only the greats can pull off. Brian Eno at the helm.
For some reasons i associate this album with Twin Peaks weirdness. There’s so much to enjoy.
The Sundays – Reading, Writing & Arithmetic
I don’t think the rest of the band are that keen on The Sundays, but it’s one of those albums that took hold when I was growing up, and even when i listen to it now I can get quite emotional.
To some they were a weaker version of The Smiths and Cocteau Twins, but I think it’s a true gem.
Gorgeous, sparse, melodic and reflective. I still come back to this album more than many.
David Bowie – Low
Another Brian Eno collaboration. Low is the classic tale of two halves. The big songs on the first half, and the experimental slow tracks on side two.
I think Sound And Vision is my favourite Bowie song. I’ll openly admit I’ve nicked that ‘spray can percussion’ technique in a few Sea Power songs now.
I really love the apocalyptic sounds of side B too. Warzawa is a bit Mad Max / Highlander.
Radiohead – In Rainbows
I’d forgotten about Radiohead a bit after OK Computer. I hadn’t appreciated the big strides they had been making. I also didn’t enjoy how bereft of hope they left me feeling, like a moody broody teenager, wallowing in bleakness.
The creativity within In Rainbows totally energised me. There are so many great ideas there. The doors swung open. I went back to Amnesiac / Kid A / Hail to the Thief and really love loads of that too.
My least favourite Radiohead albums are the first three, to be honest. I’m a big fan of the progressive Radiohead.
Sea Power’s new album Everything Was Forever is out on 18 February 2022 through Golden Chariot. The band tour the UK in April, calling at London’s Roundhouse on 14 April. Full tour dates and further information can be found at seapowerband.com