Sebastian Blanck began juggling dual careers in painting and music as an undergraduate at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1997, he joined two other RISD students to form Black Dice, a noisy electronica group that toured around New England before moving to Brooklyn the following year. Blanck stayed behind to finish his art degree, yielding his spot in the band to bassist Aaron Warren. Now free to focus his attention on art, he headed to Italy after graduation to serve as a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. He showcased his work at several New York galleries after returning to America, but music remained an active interest as well, and Blanck began writing songs that were more folk-influenced than Black Dice’s experimental noise. Things picked up in 2007, when his brother’s death left Blanck emotionally charged and determined to release a solo album. Working with vocalists like Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek and Lavender Diamond’s Becky Stark -- and taking influence from Neil Young, Gram Parsons, and other songwriters from the 1970s -- he recorded an album loosely based on his brother’s final months. Titled Alibi Coast, the record was finished in early 2010 and released later that year. ~ Andrew Leahey, Rovi