Stepping into the outlandish world of the Captain of the Lost Waves will set you on a fantastical path of upended perspectives and uproarious images, a feast for the senses. The gang of misfits hailing from Yorkshire reinvigorates the vaudevillian genre stewing together a tasty mix of Celtic, gypsy and early twentieth-century french romanticism. The group is led by the funderfully eccentric leader The Captain who shares tales of tragically calamitous characters, societal ills, and self-examination. This is all done through a whimsical, absurdist lens. Imagine if Tom Waits had a few more jigs and a few less dreary, misanthropic bummers. Also, replace the ten tons of gravel voice with a sweet busker's incantation. Their latest release, Hidden Gems – Chapter 1 is accompanied by some brilliantly crafted stop motion and black and white animation videos that reinvigorate the form and add another crucial dimension to The Captain and the Lost Waves artistic vision.

The album kicks off on a folksy minstrel vibe. 'Grand National' is a warm ode to the outsiders of the world, bathing them in a golden, optimistic glow. Mandolin and accordion score this jaunty yet reflective ditty. 'Another Planet', a romping nouveau gypsy number is featured in a Persepolis style monochromatic short film. The video chronicles the adventures of the song's characters in wonderfully surrealist fashion. A slick businessman comes to town, infiltrates the population then once in their midst, sells off all its natural wonders and replaces them with earth scarring industries leading all the boys and girls to blast off in search of the next inhabitable world. A timely commentary to be sure. The song itself is a brilliantly produced piece of doomsday polka.

The other fantastic video is for 'Danger', a particularly pointed jab at the narcissistic nature of the overwhelming number of singer-songwriters. The stop-motion video depicts a dangerous epidemic of pretentious, overly dramatic artists all bemoaning their petty troubles when they are in fact, stupendously entitled. The snappy, uber-sarcastic lyrics boast great lines like: β€œThe song would be over but there's not enough of me yet in it!”. Bam!

Hidden Gems – Chapter 1 is indeed that. This album is full, start to finish, of wonderfully quirky tunes that I just don't have enough time to fully get into in a short article like this. The Captain takes your view of daily life and turns it on its ear, forcing you to reexamine your preconceived notions, all in a joyful mood of levity. Check this album out, it's a treat. And don't skip out on the videos!