The Sea and Cake is an indie rock band with a jazz influence based in Chicago. The group formed in the mid-1990s from members of The Coctails (Archer Prewitt), Shrimp Boat (Sam Prekop and Eric Claridge), and Tortoise (John McEntire); the group's name came from a willful reinterpretation (as the result of an accidental miscomprehension) of "The C in Cake", a song by Gastr del Sol. Starting with 1997's The Fawn, the group has relied on electronic sound sources, such as drum machines and synthesizers, to color its music, but has retained its distinctive post-jazz combo style. The band has shied away from releasing singles, preferring the album format. Contrary to his multi-instrumentalist role in Tortoise, John McEntire almost exclusively plays drums in The Sea and Cake.
Members Sam Prekop, Archer Prewitt, and John McEntire each have released solo albums. The cover art of The Sea And Cake's releases are largely paintings by member Eric Claridge and photographs by Prekop. (Postcards of some of the One Bedroom-era photos were sold on the band's 2003 tour.) Prewitt has been involved in publishing his own comic books and doing graphic design.