The Sea Nymphs (band)

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The Sea Nymphs
Also known as Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake
Origin Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
Genres Psychedelic pop
Years active 1984-present
Labels Alphabet Business Concern
Associated acts Cardiacs
Members Tim Smith - Lead Vocals, Guitar and Keyboards
Sarah Smith - Saxophone and Backing Vocals
William D. Drake - Keyboards and Backing Vocals

The Sea Nymphs is a side project created by Tim Smith, Sarah Smith and William D. Drake of Cardiacs. Their musical style is much lighter than that of their parent outfit, Cardiacs; the songs dispense with the use of loud guitars and drums, in favour of differing vocal rhythms, keyboards and brass instruments. However, the music still contains Cardiacs' trademark off-the-wall chord progressions and sudden time changes, albeit in a slightly gentler fashion.

History[edit]

Their date of formation is uncertain, although it was in the early part of the 1980s. Their first official release in 1984 was not credited as being by The Sea Nymphs, as the members were yet to come up with the name, and was simply named Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake. The first release under the official name was the "Appealing To Venus" 7" in 1991, which came free with the first 500 copies of Day Is Gone by Cardiacs and was also sold through the fan club.

In 1992, they released their self-titled album (sometimes erroneously referred to as Tree Tops High) on cassette, available only through the Cardiacs fanclub. It was eventually released commercially on CD in 1995.

ORG Records [1] released a collection of material in 1998. This was the Appealing To Venus EP, which contained the title track from the previous 7", material from the Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake era and a surprise in the form of "Hymn", a Cardiacs song recorded at the 1984 Stonehenge Free Festival. Also in 1998, on 4 October, John Peel invited them on to BBC Radio 1 to record a Peel Session.[2] They recorded the tracks Sea Snake Beware, Eating A Heart Out, Lily White's Party and The Sea Ritual.

At live performances Jon Poole often featured instead of William D. Drake.

In 2007, All My Eye And Betty Martin Music [3] re-released the Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake album onto CD.

On 4 May 2009, the Peel session was re-broadcast as a Classic Session on BBC 6 Music.

A second album, On the Dry Land, was recorded around the same time as their debut in the 1990s but remained unreleased until November 2016. Several rough tracks, some bearing different titles, had floated around file sharing spheres in the years leading up to release. Having recovered sufficiently enough from his 2008 heart attack and stroke, Tim Smith was able to return to his studio to complete the album between 2015-2016. In an interview, Smith revealed further unreleased Sea Nymphs material is set to see the light of day following On the Dry Land's completion. Smith also stated he was "deeply touched" at the efforts made to help him recover from his accident (such as the release of the Cardiacs tribute album, Leader of the Starry Skies, in which all sales of the album directly funded Smith's rehabilitation), and had made a "pledge to [him]self to get better". [4]

A further interview was conducted with Prog magazine with all three Sea Nymphs members, discussing Tim's health, the creation of On the Dry Land, and the band's history. [1]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]