As Long As The Song Goes On, Sea Horses by The Gentle Isolation

The Gentle Isolation (TGI) appears to have turned a corner with their latest single, a cover of “Sea Horses” by Blueboy. Despite their deceptively laissez-faire attitude towards gigging – hey, it’s hard to commit when your lead guitar-man has gone AWOL – the band has been quietly making music, sight unseen. And if you listen very closely, you sense a new confidence in the way they deliver their twee-fied version of indie pop.

“Sea Horses” has been in the band’s repertoire for a while now, with a demo already recorded last year. TGI is releasing the finished single as a tribute to the late Keith Girdler, vocalist of Blueboy, who passed away in 2007 due to cancer. Blueboy, which formed in 1989, was but one of Girdler’s projects; the original “Sea Horses” is from Blueboy’s 1992 album, If Wishes Were Horses.

Sea Horses - The Gentle Isolation
Cover Art by Justine Basa

It’s a beach tune, another spotless afternoon kind of tune, the kind of song you want playing when you’re off to an adventure with your mates, cares be damned. TGI has made their cover version even more joyous than the original – quite fitting, given that Girdler’s friends have noted how he had wanted to be remembered with “happiness and smiles.”

TGI, which currently is made up of bassist Monch Cristobal, vocalist Ness Urian, and drummer Bach Rudica, ropes in Clementine  (also their label manager and singer-songwriter of The Camerawalls, which Rudica is also member of) to play guitar this time around. The song is guitar-driven – more often than not a note held on a consistently strumming string, while the drums keep apace and then signal a change. The foursome switch up the tempo almost on a whim, from a running start to a slow glide and back again, but there’s a control there that the listener can appreciate.

One is treated to stronger vocals from Urian, who seems to be over any hesitancy or shyness usually plaguing a first-time singer. Instead of mimicking Girdler’s hushed murmur or Gemma Townlet’s strident, almost defiant, falsetto, Urian keeps it steady. There’s a conviction and a confidence in her delivery of the lyric, “don’t cry / don’t sigh / there’s more to me than you think.”

Of course, lyrics are incidental for this particular tune. Never mind those cryptic references to a love lying “bleeding on rain-soaked beaches” (yes, more than one beach is being bled upon, after the rain) and a certain Steven “writing” and “writhing” (pun intended) – who is Steven, we don’t know, and we don’t really care. The beauty of The Gentle Isolation channeling Blueboy is that it’s easy to get lost in the music. Steven can go on bleeding, rose petals can keep shedding, as long as the song goes on.

Download Sea Horses for FREE at

Words and Music by Blueboy

Produced by Clementine
Engineered and Recorded at Sonic State Audio by Robert Javier and Chrisanthony Vinzons
Mixed and Mastered at Sonic State Audio by Jonathan Ong

Recorded and Performed by The Gentle Isolation
Ness Urian – vocals
Monch Cristobal – bass / acoustic guitar
Bach Rudica – drums

Electric guitars recorded and performed by Clementine

Cover Art by Justine Basa inspired by The Blue Boy (c. 1770) an oil painting by Thomas Gainsborough

Special thanks to Gary Sansom of Dufflecoat Records


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