Seeland – Tomorrow Today (LoAF)
Blankets of stinging warmth, the kind of warmth you feel when you’ve gotten on the bus after waiting in the bitterest cold, waits for you in Tomorrow Today. Slouched in its aural beanbag, it resembles the quirks and musical accents of Scott Walker, but has urgency enough to be as brief in execution as anything from Gruff Rhys’ most urgent of canons.
Serving time in Bristolian acts Broadcast and Plone has clearly done Seeland‘s Tim Felton and Billy Bainbridge a lot of good, and it’s of no wonder that Stereolab’s Duophonic label were very interested in the both of them. They share with the ‘Lab a distinct knowledge of the way soundworlds should be constructed and the layers you need to make it as involving an experience as possible. The gently building Colour Dream sees them covertly increase the tension throughout the first verse – simple vocal melody and minimal synthetic backgrounds gradually give in to guitar and vocal harmonies of the warmest intimation.
Library, the first single from the album, takes perhaps the most traditional approach to its craft. There are verses, bridges and choruses, and even a quiet repetition of the verse themes before we come crashing (well, nodding…) back in to finish the whole thing off. What’s commendable about this is that Seeland manage to cram in their own nuances and gentle experimentation in the plonking harpsichord and squelching tempo. It’s a great synthesis of what you’d expect electronic pop to sound like and what you’d want it to try and sound like. Such aim in their recordings.
Never happier than when luxuriating into vocal harmonic bliss on Captured, always eager to rattle on through the necessaries for pop confidence on Goodbye, Seeland’s debut manages to effectively balance sonic toybox-raiding without it all sounding like anything more than a stroll and a sprint. The cold often permeates, but there’s always a well-timed blast of hot air ’round the next bend – not so much a winter warmer as a reminder that you were never that freezing anyway.
You lucky monkeys can buy it from the 16th March, and you can hear some songs here.