Schenectady

The Sea The Sea returns to Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs

Mira and Chuck Costa of The Sea The Sea
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Mira and Chuck Costa of The Sea The Sea

It’s been more than two years since Mira and Chuck Costa, the artists behind The Sea The Sea, played an indoor, in-person show.

That stretch will finally end on Saturday at Caffe Lena.

“We love the community around Caffe Lena,” Mira said. “They’re doing a really great job with COVID protocols . . . As we all adjust to being back out in the world and being in a room with other people, this just feels like a really great place to start to do that and work through those comfort levels.”

While they might not have been touring very much during the pandemic, the Troy-based duo has in no way been idle.

They released an album called “Stumbling Home” in 2020 and since then, they have written and recorded 50 songs, which will be released as EPs on Patreon throughout this year.

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“Since we’ve been together, we’re always prepping for the next time we’re going to be hitting the road again. There’s always a really hard deadline in terms of how much time we’ll have at home or have at the studio. The last year and a half [we] just didn’t have that, which was very liberating, and it really helped us just not have to carry that weight. It helped us creatively,” Chuck said.

“That has been a really beautiful silver lining of this time. It’s just focused time to write and record that we haven’t had in the past,” Mira said. “So we’ve been trying to lean into that and let that be a gift of this time.”

They aimed to write and record one or two songs a week; an ambitious goal, especially considering they were relatively new to recording and producing their music.

“We had started putting a home studio together before COVID and we recorded most of our last album in that way,” Chuck said. “As COVID progressed, and we were quarantining, we just really dug in and started to build the studio and hone our skills as producers and recording engineers.”

“That’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, but then the pandemic made it a necessity,” Mira said.

Writing so much material and keeping up a steady pace pushed them creatively and allowed for a certain amount of experimentation.

“It’s almost like you become a little bit more playful in the process in some ways. It’s helped us get that inner critic that might actually overwork an idea sometimes or might actually cut you off from an idea,” Mira said. “We feel like it expanded the types of songs that we’ve been writing and also just helped us connect more deeply with our sound just [by] getting to work through so many different things on such a regular basis.”

They released the first few songs last week on a lovely and at times meditative EP titled “I Recorded the Rain for You.”

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The title track was inspired by a message Mira’s mom sent to them at the height of the pandemic, which included a recording of rain falling. It’s a soothing song, with the duo harmonizing to lyrics like “Sometimes the rain feels just like home.”

“There’s something about the sound of rain that’s comforting and peaceful and connects with me. I think . . . throughout the pandemic, we’d been recording the ‘rain’ — our own music — for whoever it could connect with,” Chuck said.

“A lot of the songs on this album aren’t connected sonically but there is definitely a through-line of things that I think we were really processing and thinking about during this time,” Mira said.

Another track, called “All the Things We’re Made of,” is about trusting that there will be enough even when life doesn’t look the way you thought it would. “The Art of Feeling” is melancholy and wrestles with making meaning and sussing out complicated emotions, with lyrics like “When some things just aren’t what they seem and fall apart and we can’t find the meaning.”

The EP, along with three others The Sea The Sea plans to release this year, is only available on Patreon, a subscription-based platform with a focus on supporting creators.

“Touring for so long had been a very centralized place that we connected with people and that point of connection disappeared in a way,” Mira said. “As artists, we’ve been really drawn to this idea of creating a space that isn’t an email on your email list that goes to your spam box, or something that you’re putting out on social media that is affected by an algorithm; just a place where people can go to that sustains us as artists, inspires us and also creates this place where fans can go and always see everything that we’re making in one place, whenever they want.”

They’ve had good experiences with building a tight-knit community through the platform, hosting virtual Q&A sessions and posting a steady stream of updates on various projects.

“It just feels like a really nice way to not just be sending music out into the void; to let there be sincere human connections between audience and artists,” Mira said.

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Releasing the music in this way versus other platforms, especially those that are free, is scary in some ways.

“It takes more for people to come to a platform like Patreon and pay their $5 and commit to being there because we’re all so used to consuming music for free,” Mira said.

“We also have been trying to make it clear that these aren’t b-sides. These are songs that we really want people to hear.”

There are three different subscription tiers ranging in price from $5-30 a month, and each comes with its own set of benefits; all include the four EPs and lyric booklets.

Beyond releasing new music, they’re working out their summer tour schedule and looking forward to getting back out there, though with a more balanced schedule than their pre-pandemic years provided.

“This has given us a . . . perspective that we really couldn’t have before because we were perpetually out on the road. There’s something that’s been so beautiful about being home and I think we’ve come to the conclusion that we would love to find a healthy balance where we have some solid time here in the studio and at home to write,” Chuck said.

However, after so long at home, they’re ready to get back in front of live audiences again.

“We have a lot of music that we’re excited to share and that we hope really resonates with people and connects with people in a live setting again,” Mira said.

The Sea The Sea

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Caffe Lena
TICKETS: $10-20
MORE INFO: caffelena.org or patreon.com/theseathesea

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Categories: Art, Entertainment, Life and Arts, Saratoga Springs

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