White Sea aka Morgan Kibby, perhaps better known for her work with French electronic band M83, has embarked on new venture with the upcoming release of her debut album In Cold Blood. The album, set for release on May 20th via Crush/SONGS, introduces White Sea’s electronic-pop sound in a supreme fashion.
The LA-based musician’s heavy dance, pop and electronic music influence is evident throughout the ten-song debut. The best illustration of this lies in the new single off of In Cold Blood, “Future Husbands Past Lives.” The upbeat, catchy tune bares a strong resemblance to 80’s pop and helps to introduce White Sea’s musical direction. According to the singer herself, the works of legendary artists such as Prince and Donna Summer were major influences when making the album. The songs named after European cities, “Prague” and “Warsaw,” are similar in their strong synth-pop sound and lyrical content, both factors that shed light on the singer’s confidence and tendency to be theatrical. The songs are delivered in such a powerful and confident fashion that I, as a listener, couldn’t help but feel empowered myself. In this album, the self-proclaimed drama-fan successfully fused her passions to produce music that urges the listener to get up and dance without jeopardizing the emotional significance of the lyrical content. An example of this comes in the closing track of the album, which is the singer’s attempt at gaining acceptance; realizing that “nothing will be simple again,” Kibby wonders, “maybe someday you will be loved and it will end in disaster.” Although it has a fair share of up-tempo melodies, In Cold Blood is not sparse of slower, moving songs. Nowhere else is this better captured than in the heart-breaking interlude song “Ex-Pat,” where the singer is almost on the verge of pleading, asking the subject to “come share my love.” It is an all too familiar story of unrequited love but delivered in such a distinct and moving fashion that the listener can’t help but appreciate Kibby’s honesty.
Although inspired from heartbreak, solace can be taken in the fact that In Cold Blood has the potential to be therapeutic and cathartic for listeners. White Sea’s clearly personal and self-reflective debut is a great production and is promising of better things to come from the artist in the near future.