For a lot of listeners, it’s a reflex to make sense of music by putting new sounds into familiar boxes. It’s easy to draw connections between existing tunes and artists, but it takes a special type of audio-alchemy to make the ears really think, feel, and digest a song.

Murray Hill quartet Sea Cycles’ new single, “Quota” (released on streaming services on January 11) does just that. Each repeated listen reveals new layers- some dark and mysterious, some juicy and sweet. The driving bass line (Landon Paul) and uptempo drum beat (Josh Wessolowski) pound the floor under ambient, undulating guitar and synth lines (Brian Squillace). Windy harmonies reminiscent of Radiohead intermingle with a rhythm section that bridges the gap between Minus the Bear and El Ten Eleven. It’s the sonic equivalent of biting into a red-velvet wedding cake with jalapeño icing.

Sea Cycles “Quota” was released by Other People Records ahead of their US tour. // Photo: Jesse Brantman

“‘Quota’ is about overworking yourself to the point where you’re alienating yourself from the people in your life, maybe to the point where they are preventing you in some way from being more focused on your craft or your work,” says vocalist Colin Adkins of the new track.

After two long years of writing, recording, and rehearsing, the guys in Sea Cycles became accustomed to putting in the extra hours after their workdays ended. The band embarks on an East Coast tour with St. Pete trio Polyenso, kicking things off with Jan. 18 gig  in Tampa, before heading as far north as New York City. Sea Cycles’ Jacksonville homecoming gig is locked in for Jan. 31st at Nighthawk’s in Riverside.

Listen to “Quota” on Spotify. For more information about tour dates and tickets, check out the band’s website.