The group is essentially a trio of singers and songwriters, rounded out by a rotating cast of assisting musicians. Guitarist Chris Ziter, keyboardist Sasha Bell, and Jeff Baron--another guitarist--craft pleasing pop songs that simultaneously have the charm of simplicity as well as the delight of inventiveness.
The band writes sweet, earthy pop which is grounded in '60s pop without, for the most part, sounding like an homage.
The album kicks off with “This Isn’t Farmlife," a terrific upbeat number with a bouncy melody reminiscent of all sorts of '60s one-hit wonder pop groups. "Rue de Lis" is a slice of Byrds-like folk-rock, merged with a touch of modern twee.
The band's male/female vocal harmonies are perfectly suited to their material (like the Mosquitos without the Brazilian influence), as evidenced by splendidly by the song "Penny & Jack," in which Sasha Bell and Chris Ziter trade vocal lines.
Cannibal Sea is an outstanding album from a band which deserves to be heard.
hear The Essex Green at WYEP's Summer Music Festival and World Cafe at the Warhol.