Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Scarlet Mill. Sea Devil was released on August 1st, and for fans of European Folk, this is for you.

Netherlands-based duo, Scarlet Mill, consists of Jennifer Moesker (vocals, piano, organ, synths) and Erik Verhoef (vocals, guitar, bass and drums).

Sea Devil is the tale of a dramatic, passionate, nautical love between a sailing musician and his muse. This song tells the part of the male protagonist’s trip from Port Henry to Paris.

Sea Devil starts with some 70s progressive rock-sounding organ sounds (think Phantom of the Opera) and leads into a 6/8 gentle but slightly ominous-sounding folk song. We were very much reminded of Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads album here, with Erik’s deep baritone voice together with Jennifer’s lilting Chrissie Hynde-style vocals balanced well over the top.

The slightly unpredictable chord progressions lend drama to the song, and the European-sounding accordion solo could have been lifted straight out of a Parisian Cafe on a summer’s day.

At around 4 minutes in, the song takes a totally different direction and, following the accordion solo, leads into a “I Want You (She’s So Heavy) Beatles-like instrumental section with heavy guitar soloing and some beautiful doubled guitar harmony lines.

The song fades out with an unresolved chord, creating a clever sense of discomfort in the listener as the Hammond fades out, tying the song up at exactly 5 minutes long.

We feel this track is one which is just perfect for pitching for sync licensing. It has just the right combination of uniqueness together with a lack of sudden changes or drum fills that could distract a viewer from a scene in a movie. We would strongly urge Scarlet Mill to seek out opportunities for this track to be used in TV or a movie.

Ideas from our ears

A cut around 55Hz would reduce some boomy bass tones and a couple of cuts in the 140-160Hz area would help to tame some resonant sounds on the droning notes (organ?). As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.

Final thoughts

Scarlet Mill’s latest single, Sea Devil, is an innovative folk murder ballad that will delight fans of Nick Cave, Tom Waits, PJ Harvey and Leonard Cohen.