Aaron & The Sea
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Aaron & The Sea

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014




"Aaron & The Sea: Cloak & Dagger"

Aaron and the Sea: Cloak & Dagger – They’ve been described as ‘murder-pop’ and if that doesn’t pique your interest, then nothing will. Erin Rice and Alex Brown formed Aaron and the Sea back in Minnesota in 2008. Inspired by Crystal Castles, Japanese glitch and remix music, Aaron and the Sea specialize in dark synth sounds and pulsating dance rhythms. Cloak & Dagger represents a sonic shift from Aaron and the Sea’s first release, Creature Creature, as the release comprises of a larger infusion of electronic music.

‘Blac of Heart’ finds Aaron and the Sea acting as a darker cross between The 1975 and The Big Pink. I know it’s a cop-out to say that sometimes, but the band does have a certain type of mammoth, arena sound to them. The loud drums that coincide with the dark synths certainly set the tone for the rest of the EP. The howls near the end add a nice touch to the nervous ambiance of the song.

‘Vudu II’ feels like nightmare-pop. This label, however silly it may seem, adds to the track, as the surrounding darkness dramatizes the content and production of the song. Synth play is a staple of Aaron and the Sea and it’s no surprise that ‘Vudu II’ trades in the artistry of it. The jarring drum breakdown near the end adds, if nothing else, a stylistically different element to the song.

‘Cloak & Dagger’ contains flare synths at the onset, which perfectly pair with the vocals in the song, as the right kind of dark atmosphere is portrayed in it. The interesting thing about the EP is the band’s willingness to almost go the acoustic route with electronica via switching back and forth from static drum machines. Usually, bands record a standard electronic song by going for that big hook and payoff at the end, but you get the sense that Aaron and the Sea don’t really care about standard time signatures and verse/chorus structure. Everything here is just… disconnected.

‘Little Bit’ rounds out Cloak & Dagger with maybe their best song. I definitely see the remix music element of Aaron and the Sea. The frenetic song has a wild pace and includes traces of a dance influence, and if this band were more popular, this song would be killing it in clubs. ‘Little Bit’ is their most accessible song and should be a single. Whether it’s the carefully placed bass drum, the staggered echoes of the singer’s effervescent voice, or the crescendo synth effect, everything just coalesces together beautifully on ‘Little Bit’.

While listening to Cloak & Dagger, the obvious talent and musicianship displayed by Aaron and the Sea indicates promise for something great in the future. Their unique way of constructing an electronic song definitely separates them from most bands on the scene and that’s an inherent plus. However, the EP is short, and after listening to ‘Little Bit’, the only thing I could think of was that I wanted it to continue and not just abruptly end on such a high note. And if that’s the only feeling that you experience when listening to Cloak & Dagger, then maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all…7.9/10

Little Bit - Violent Success

"Aaron & The Sea - Cloak & Dagger Review 8.0/10.0"

Aaron & the Sea have come a long way from writing dinosaur-themed ballads. The Minneapolis band formed in 2008 when roommates Aaron Rice and Alex Brown started making music together, and later completed their line-up with the arrival of drummer Peter Leggett. Over a year after releasing their debut album Creature Creature the trio are back with their Cloak & Dagger EP, marking a departure from their indie-inspired debut.

The songs on the Cloak & Dagger EP are made for the morning after the night before. Scratchy synths, breathy but commanding vocals, coupled with echoey atmospheric effects that swaddle the music gives their sound a pulse of its own. Opener "Blac of Heart" is all brooding synths that are as eerie as they are addictive, while "Cloak & Dagger" is guided by propulsive electric drums veering into Kele Okereke’s style of electronica. Elsewhere the band's cover of Lykke Li’s “Little Bit” is a captivating reimagining of the Swedish singer’s track, but doesn't have the same immediate hit as the band’s own material. On Cloak & Dagger Aaron & the Sea have crafted a darkly beautiful sound filled with juddering synths and brilliantly textured songs made for sombre winter evenings.

8.0 / 10 — Aideen - Scene Point Blanke

"Aaron & The Sea: Cloak & Dagger EP (Review)"

A pretty piece of space soul, this EP simmers with three pieces of obsidian-black pop perfection before bouncing into a cover of Lykke Li's Little Bit.

The band has slipped under the radar in the local scene of late, and we can't exactly understand how. The songs are haunting.

Aaron and the Sea's Aaron and Alex were on fire in a basement cabaret setting at the Airwaves festival, where they captivated a crowd of throb-hungry Icelanders.

Give this record a few spins - from the dance scored paranoia of Blac of Heart to the plaintive strut of the title track, we think you'll be hooked. - Softwax

"Nailing the Finite Version: An Interview with Aaron from Aaron & the Sea"

"each listen is an offering of a glimpse at what I thought I knew and how far it was off. It’s a vision to being quite unique and should open windows and doors for the listeners lucky enough to find it."

- Anobium [Chicago]

"Aaron & The Sea create dark, tasteful and memorable pop"

What do you get when you take the industrial whims of late ’90s Nine Inch Nails, mix it with the songwriting instrumental play of Broken Social Scene and sprinkle in some catchy rhythms reminiscent of MGMT — then, after mixing lock it into the cellar for a few month? Something a whole lot like Aaron and the Sea.

I rarely find myself at a point of complete immersion when listening to new music, always absorbed in some meaningless task while the melodies float over unobserved. However, Creature Creature, the latest release from the trio Aaron & The Sea, has masterfully stolen all attention with an inventive array of instrumental prowess, creating deep, hauntingly seductive tones.

Eerie, nightmare pop exemplifies itself tastefully throughout Creature Creature. You might find it rearing its head on the chilling lullaby of “Fairies’ Tale,s” featuring a clever overlapping of vocals adding an alluringly uncanny aspect to the short two minute track. Or you can catch a glimpse of it residing in the spectral instrumentation and ethereal “ooohs” that sustain a beautiful build throughout “Slow Murder” — a song as hauntingly intriguing as its title suggests.

These songs, though very good in their own right, are all but shadowed by the stimulating emotional response created through “Déjà Vudu.” With a slow, bass-heavy intro accompanied by Rice’s smooth even voice, I cannot help but feel chills as the sudden wash of percussion and cymbals attack like the crash and break of thunder as the sky opens up. It is an awe-provoking experience as Rice’s voice maintains the calm throughout this explosion of a world brought to nothing. This song is an experience in itself to be appreciated as it comes to a close, slowing down with nothing but an unearthly chime to mark its end.

Aaron & the Sea is creating an opportunity to peer into a world that few don’t get the chance to see, but yet feels all too familiar. Creature Creature is an album that needs to be listened to with the lights off and alone to fully grasp its conceptual journey — give it a try and you’re sure to be rewarded. - Stereo Subversion

"The Most Intense Music Video I've Seen?"

It easily could be!

Minneapolis duo Aaron & The Sea released a free EP last year for their song "Deja Vudu", and along with it, this shadowy, edge of your seat style video. I have it on good authority from a couple people, that you shouldn't watch this just before you go to bed. So hopefully the sun is shining bright where you are! Aaron & The Sea will be releasing their debut full legnth album on March 15th, and the first track, "There There Creature Creature" is also available as a free download. (it's what got me excited about them in the first place) - The Source Weekly

"Aaron & The Sea = Awesome"

"This is easily the most intense music video I have watched in a long time."

I love opening up my inbox and finding something in it that I instantly fall in love with. Such was the case yesterday when I finally got around to reading an email from AJ Jahnig over at Swim Agency. He was letting me know about the upcoming debut LP from Minneapolis duo Aaron & The Sea. Included with the email was a sweet single titled, “There There Creature Creature”. (I couldn’t provide a streaming version of the song here… but DID find a site with a legal download of it). Trust me… it’s a fantastic song and should get you excited about the album that will be released next month.

But one of the best things I discovered by checking out this band, was the music video posted below. Aaron & The Sea describe their music as “Nightmare Pop”, and that may just be proved crazy accurate by the video for Deja Vudu from an EP they released last year (which can also be downloaded for free just underneath the video). This is easily the most intense music video I have watched in a long time. It’s understated and builds slowly, uses shadows and silhouettes, and just plain sucks you in from the very first beat. So do yourself and favor and press play… then stay tuned to 83Music for more on this mustache wielding duo. Oh… and while you’re at it… why don’t you go “like” their Facebook page too and tell them what you think of their music and videos. - 83Music [Oregon]

"Aaron & The Sea"

"Lead singer Aaron seems to have a knack for some pretty inspired vocals where the band lay out different vibes. Chilled, soulful, four-to-the-floor. Hot stuff..." - Andy Goes Down To Chinatown [Finland]

"Aaron & The Sea: Seconds and Shapes LP"

"Formed in mid-2008, Aaron and the Sea wasted no time forging their first record, which shows no sign that haste made waste. Rather, the sound is solid, mature, and radio ready..." - City Pages [Minneapolis]

"Concert Review: Diamond Rings, PS I Love you, & Aaron & The Sea"

Local openers Aaron & The Sea, like the recently all-about-town Claps, make thoroughly convincing and tender synth-pop (now belonging just as much to this century as to the 80s), theirs being a more aggressive alignment of booming drums, loud synth textures and soulful vocals. Here as throughout the night, there was strength in small numbers, in the solidarity of the duo: the names don’t match up so exactly, but let’s call them Aaron (which I presumed to be the name of the soulful vocalist)—romancing us from afar, holding up his clenched fist with heel facing outward in a little no-no gesture, and then inserting some keyboard tones into the mix or enveloping the tableau in the strums of his guitar—and his Sea (the drummer)—the organizing Principal, the helping hands. - The Big Takeover [Brooklyn]

"Unsigned: Aaron & The Sea"

Yes yes YHC is back again with some fresh-to-death unsigned sounds. This time we’re taking a trip across the pond to Minneapolis, Minnesota (home to Prince, The Replacements), where the nightmare pop duo Aaron and The Sea currently reside. We had a chat with the boys and as it stands they’re currently working on their second recording project “Creature Creature” due to be self released later this year. Until then you can devour their sounds at, you guessed it, Bandcamp. http://aaronandthesea.bandcamp.com/ - Young and High Club [UK]

"Deja Vudu"

"I really like the sound of this band from Minneapolis. Chilled out but dark. They call themselves “Nightmare Pop”. “Déjà Vudu” is from the Vudu EP, available for free: aaronandthesea.com" - Katuwapitiya [Toronto]


"I played Déjà Vudu on Indie-licious a few weeks ago and I love whenever it comes on shuffle now." - Music Between Friends [Toronto]

"Subtle Haunting Electronic Pop"

"LA’s Aaron & The Sea have started off my Halloween morning right with the subtle haunting electronic pop on Vudu, a free download via Bandcamp. Check it:" - Pasta Primavera [Baltimore]


Aaron & The Sea aus Minneapolis machen electronic pop. Die neue EP Vudu gibt's als gratis Download auf ihrer Bandcampseite.

"Fairies' Tales" klingt wie ein lo-fi Zach Condon gefangen in einem tiefen Albtraum, umzingelt von elektronischen Orgel-klängen und zuflüsternden Stimmen. "Slow Murder" dagegen ist fast schon M83-mässig, wunderschön tief und packend!

Hier gibt's die ganze EP Vudu zum durchhören und herunterladen. - Turnin Wrong [Luzern]

"Jazama Pajama, Pajama Jazama!"

"If the movie Little Nemo (not Finding Nemo, fuck that fish!) had a soundtrack made for adults this would be it. And I would love that movie even more than I already do."

Jazama Pajama, Pajama Jazama!
Hi. Meet Aaron & The Sea.
One of their genre tags on their bandcamp calls them 'nightmare pop' and I really like that.
It suits the music well.
They sound as if a member of a boy band drank a lot of gin, fell asleep on the plane ride to their next gig and dreamt up this new musical career path … in an electro 80’s pop type of nightmare. I love me some 80’s anything, so naturally I am really enjoying their album Creature Creature.
If the movie Little Nemo (not Finding Nemo, fuck that fish!) had a soundtrack made for adults this would be it. And I would love that movie even more than I already do. - Music She Blogged [Toronto]

"AATS Drop Halloween EP, Creepy New Video"

AATS drop Halloween EP, creepy new video.

"Déjà Vudu" — Shot in Prague, CZ. Directed & edited by Alex Brown
Plus download the free three-song "Vudu" EP - MPLSSTPL

"Radar: Aaron & The Sea"

What put Aaron And The Sea on our radar was their really memorable music video to the track Déjà Vudu off their new 3-song Vudu EP. Though this nightmare-pop band (term coined by the band's studio engineer Joe Johnson) hails from Minneapolis, the video was directed and edited by Alex Brown in Prague and it's a superb use of technique and conceptual originality. What makes this video particularly appropriate is that it really dovetails with the idea of the band as a whole and the song in specific. It's relevant on all levels.
Formed in 2008 by long time school mates Alex Brown and Aaron Rice, later joined by drummer Peter Leggett, the original intention of the project was to write and record an entire album of middle-of-the-frigid-northern-mid-west-winter, dinosaur-focused synth pop. The project quickly developed into a more serious, darker, and long-term endeavor and the band has definitely found a signature space to own.
There are several tracks available online now in addition to the current Vudu EP, and RUST is definitely looking forward to an upcoming series of releases which will include another video & EP, and a full length album. Aaron And The Sea tell us that all of these are already complete and are currently being scheduled for release so we should be hearing more from them soon. A winter US midwest tour and spring US east coast tour are also scheduled so check their page for updates. - Rustzine

"Editor's Pick: "Slow Murder" & "Deja Vudu""

"Amid an ocean of glowing synthesizers, this Minnesota group impresses on two songs from their newest EP — swim around in the music." - The Tune


Still working on that hot first release.



Formed in 2008 in Minneapolis, Aaron & The Sea has a certain unforgettable sound with a lo-fi eeriness, dark synth sounds, and driving rhythms. Overlaid with a very accessible, pop-esque vocal melody, its no surprise that their music is often referred to as "nightmare-pop" or "murder-pop". Drawing influence from remix music, Japanese glitch, Crystal Castles, and Thom Yorke - listening to Aaron & The Sea is comparable to floating in thin air through a foreign landscape of ancient ice palaces on the darkest, stillest night of the year.

The new EP differs from Aaron's former full-length release, Creature Creature, noting a large jump into his project's electronic side. The EP holds 4 tracks, including an alternate version of a pre-released track entitled "Deja Vudu", and a cover of Lykke Li's "Little Bit." The new EP was initially recorded by Aaron himself, and later worked on by New York (by way of Minneapolis) producer Grant Cutler.

Cloak & Dagger will be self-released on Tuesday, November 12th and will be available for Pay-What-You-Want via the artist's Bandcamp page, as well as iTunes, Spotify, and other online stores. A short run of 400 compact discs will also be available starting November 16th when Aaron & The Sea celebrate the release (you're invited!) at the Kitty Cat Klub in Minneapolis. 


"Scratchy synths, breathy but commanding vocals, coupled with echoey atmospheric effects that swaddle the music gives their sound a pulse of its own. On Cloak & Dagger Aaron & the Sea have crafted a darkly beautiful sound filled with juddering synths and brilliantly textured songs made for sombre winter evenings." -One of the top 5 indie EP's of 2013 on Scene Point Blank

"While listening to Cloak & Dagger, the obvious talent and musicianship displayed by Aaron and the Sea indicates promise for something great in the future. Their unique way of constructing an electronic song definitely separates them from most bands." -Violent Success

Band Members