Back in January, saratoga living published a list of eight incredible, up-and-coming female musicians from Upstate New York—sort of a beginner’s manifesto to the current Capital Region music scene. And as good fortune would have it, three of them linked up to play a triple-bill at Albany’s The Linda this past weekend. Now a fourth, The Sea The Sea, which is co-fronted by another talented local woman, is set to make a splash at Caffè Lena on Thursday, March 14. How lucky are we?
The Troy-based indie folk-pop band started out as a duo consisting of married couple Chuck Costa (vocals, guitar and harmonies) and Mira Costa (vocals, keyboard and percussion) but has since expanded to a quartet. In 2014, The Sea The Sea released their debut album, Love We Are We Love, which received more than 15 million streams on Spotify, and since then, has dropped a six-song EP, In the Altogether, and a sophomore album, From the Light, all the while touring extensively throughout the US. The group’s repertoire ranges from stripped-down folk tunes, with just guitar and vocals, to poppy anthems such as “Bang Bang Bang,” complete with drums, keyboard and electric guitar. The group recently received two nominations (Alt/Indie Artist of the Year and Rock/Pop Artist of the Year) for this year’s inaugural Capital Region Thomas Edison Music Awards (i.e. The Eddies) to be held on Sunday, April 14, at Proctors Theatre. saratoga living chatted with The Sea The Sea’s Mira and Chuck Costa about what to expect from the group’s upcoming tour—and their stop in Saratoga Springs.
You two have been to Caffè Lena before. What do you think of the venue, and what songs can fans expect at this show?
Mira Costa (MC): We love Caffè Lena, and this will be our second headlining show there. We’ll be debuting some new songs, too. This tour will be a bit more stripped down, musically—just the two of us—but definitely not a sleepy night at all. [Laughs]
The band’s based in Troy, but neither of you are originally from the Capital Region. How did you wind up here?
MC: I’m originally from Charleston, WV, but we officially moved here about a-year-and-a-half ago.
Chuck Costa (CC): I grew up down in New York City, but I used to come up here a lot. My family has sort of a shared family home out in East Chatham. So when Mira and I started touring, we used this little house as a home base for a while. We connected to all the musical community here, and now we call it home.
I know when I first moved to Saratoga, I was so impressed by the amount of art and culture pouring out of this tiny region.
MC: That’s actually part of the reason that we landed here. There’s a little-big-town feel to this area. There’s so much music going on, but it’s also a very accessible community of artists. And we really love the small town vibe that comes with that.
Talk about how you two first met and started making music?
CC: We met at a festival in West Virginia. I played solo for a while and really had never sung harmonies with anybody before; I was too shy to do that. Mira was the stage manager for that festival, so she heard me sing there, and we ended up singing together just for fun on the side. That weekend, we noticed something unusual, something special about our vocal blend. At the time, we were both really at separate parts of the country, so it took a couple of years for us to play together again. But once we did reconnect, we just hit the ground running, and we were able to co-write really quickly and easily together, which we do a lot of still.
And then came the wedding bells?
MC: [Laughs] Yes, we got married in August of 2016.
Did you guys perform at your own wedding?
CC: We actually made a pledge not to sing at our wedding.
MC: There was a lot of singing in the ceremony. But for the reception we gave everyone the day off. [Laughs]
It can be exhausting touring all the time. How have you adapted to that, and do you still find time to be creative on the road?
MC: Both of us have that bug that makes us want to travel all the time. So we tend to get restless when we’re home for too long. But I think for us, even though it can be all-consuming and a logistical overload when you’re touring, we feel like it opens us up to so many experiences that we wouldn’t have otherwise: Seeing so many different places in the country and hearing people’s stories. We really feed off of that, and it inspires us. But there’s definitely an art to finding a balance [while touring], which is something we’re constantly working on.
You mentioned debuting some new songs on this tour. Should we be expecting another new album soon?
MC: The answer is yes and probably always yes. [Laughs] As soon as we put songs down and take them into the world, we’re already writing new ones. So we’ve got a big batch of things that we’re sort of recording at home and demoing. It doesn’t have a title yet, but we’re excited to be putting together the next thing.