Having released three beautiful, dream-like singles across the past year, A Ritual Sea released their self-titled debut album on Friday 24th September 2021, through Parisian post-punk record label, Icy Cold Records.
A highly personal album, it is underpinned by the theme of love overcoming adversity as experienced by A Ritual Sea’s chief songwriter and singer Donna McCabe and composer, guitarist Florian Chombart, who in addition to being bandmates, are a couple.
Donna explains the context of the album: “Flo and I met 12 years ago through MySpace. We were fans of each other’s bands, but we lived in two different cities - Flo was in Paris and I was in Dublin. There is something very melancholic about long distance relationships; there’s a deep loneliness and sadness when you are apart, and then a very heady high when you are together again. You create rituals around those reunions. We sent each other music all the time, to say the things we couldn’t express with words. You lie awake at night thinking of the sea that separates you – that is where the band name comes from. That longing gets deeply imprinted on you – a feeling of having been gifted something immense, but just out of reach.”
When Florian moved to Dublin two years later, the couple started working on songs together, recording in their bedroom, sharing music with friends who encouraged them to keep going, and eventually forming the live band, now a five-piece.
Another theme emerges: a fear of losing something, be it a person you love, a sense of self, your self-control or your sense of security. “We lost some people very close to us within a short space of time, in quite sudden and shocking circumstances, one of whom was in the Paris attacks in 2015. Working on the songs was a kind of therapy, something to keep you functioning, something primordial,” says Florian. "We wanted to make cinematic music that you can just escape into.”
Self-produced and recorded at A Ritual Sea’s home studio, it was mixed by Paris-based musician and sound engineer Nicolas Subreìchicot (Vagabond, Lou Doillon) and mastered at Biduloscope.
Check out the album on Bandcamp now!