Reviews in 200 Words

Skate Away by Seth Pettersen

In EP, podcast on October 21, 2011 at 11:48 am

This is bottled sunshine. It’s surf, sand and skateparks. And it’s familiar territory for this Southern California songwriter. With a short, sweet EP Seth Pettersen reaches beyond pop sentimentality and surf guitars to plumb the deeper waters offshore. But even in the deepest waters, this lifelong surfer knows that sometimes a sandbar pops up and you can put down your feet. Survey the scene. Behind the sundown glow and the salty hair, Pettersen sees something somber and reflective. At first he’s ready to run from the hurt. “I think I know what to do/to take away my safety blues,” he sings in “Biscuits (Disarm Everything). Skate, surf, run – for the first half of this short EP it’s flight over fight. But toward the end of the record Pettersen faces up those fears and the songs take on new life. “Mother is a Moth” is a beautiful dirge. “Once in a While” is a hula funeral fueled by the slide guitar work of Neal Casal (guitarist for Ryan Adams’ now defunct band The Cardinals). “Is it better to turn than to face your fear?” In answering that question, Pettersen swims away from shore only to return again riding the tide.

-Jay Cullis

Seth Pettersen

Check out the latest Beat Jab Podcast via iTunes

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