Cristobal And The Sea
London-based, multi-national psychedelic folk-rock quartet Cristobal and the Sea was formed in 2012 by four students at Loughborough University: Spanish bassist/vocalist Alejandro Romero, Portuguese guitarist João Seixas, Corsican flautist Leïla Séguin, and British drummer Joshua Oldershaw. Created partly as a response to the university's primarily laddish, sports-based culture, the band grew out of jam sessions at the apartment the three boys shared. Their multicultural heritage helped forge a sound shaped by a multitude of international influences including bossa nova, jazz, psych-folk, dub, Afrobeat, and even goth rock. In 2014 the band moved to London where a demo caught the ear of Berlin-based indie City Slang, which signed them and released their debut EP, Peach Bells. Their debut full-length album, Sugar Now, recorded with Animal Collective producer Rusty Santos, followed in 2015 to generally positive critical response, but failed to chart. For the 2017 release of their much-refined sophomore album Exitoca, recorded in a self-built studio on the outskirts of Paris by Bosnian producer Yehan Jehan, the band added as a fifth member American keyboardist, percussionist, and filmmaker Elliott Arndt, who produced the striking visuals for the album cover and music video for the first single, "Goat Flokk." Driven by the band's anxiety, as immigrants, over the political situation engendered by Britain's then-impending exit from the European Union, the album made a call for escape into a voluptuous, psychedelic utopia inspired by the Latin-based '50s exotica genre from which it took its name. ~ John D. Buchanan
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