"When the blue gold dries up, you’re shit out of luck,” an avid camper told Freaks of the Sea frontman Chris Thompson while he was working at Columbia Sportswear. “I immediately thought that would make a great song title,” Thompson tells. “And I'm obsessed with hydration.”
True enough, Freaks of the Sea like to accompany their lush psychedelic soul music with oceanic images of waves crashing and the life flourishing underneath that white-capped, rollicking terrain.
“Blue Gold” is the young band’s fourth single in the last eight months and the release also completes their new EP, Western Medicine. Written, produced and recorded (with a little help from engineer and producer Gregg Williams—The Dandy Warhols, Blitzen Trapper, The Decemberists) by Thompson and Alec Berkley, “The song ended up being about growing old and coming to terms with things becoming dull,” Thompson explains. “Realizing there are a couple people in my life that haven't grown dull, we have evolved together. And that is so satisfying.”
Thompson and Berkley are one of those relationships. The pair “met in our early adolescence jamming at our friend Chet Malinow's house in SW Portland. (Chet now does all of the Freaks of the Sea visual design.) As we grew older, we headed in different directions,” Thompson tells. Each attended different colleges but were brought back together by a traumatic accident that affected their mutual friend Alex Agan (for whom the band recently held a successful, sold-out fundraiser at The Dandys’ Odditorium over the holidays). While Agan was hospitalized, Thompson ended up on Berkley’s couch in Long Beach, Calif.
“During that stay, I had a major epiphany: I decided to dedicate my life to starting a band used to spread empathy and understanding to those who feel alone in this world,” Thompson says. “That fateful trip to California, Alec and I recorded ‘Twice the Woman’ together, and thus started Freaks of the Sea.”
“This year we returned to Portland,” Thompson says. “The fundraiser was very much full circle for us.” Currently in the studio recording their first full-length album Apocalyptically Beautiful with local hip-hop producer Skelli Skell (known for his work with Old Grape God), “We will continue to play shows in Portland throughout 2018.”