This week, loyal lovers of music that swoons, we speak to Timothy Felton from Seeland, whose delicious debut album Tomorrow Today is reviewed by PM here. As you can see from his succinct answers, brevity used correctly can make for still-more intriguing additions to an already-enveloping musical world. The album, though, you should buy. Kind of like Gruff Rhys joining Tim Gane for an afternoon in Kelpe’s front room for a game of billiards or something.
In a word, how’s your week?
What did you get up to last night and how was it?
Haemorrhaging money over a bar while friends played records. Boozy.
What’s for dinner tonight and who’s cooking it?
Spinach and potatoe curry by my own fair hand.
What have you listened to today and did you like it?
Finished a remix for Yokota Sosuma and I have listened to it so much it’s hard to be objective but i’m happy.
What’s your favourite/least favourite thing that’s happened this week?
Bright sunshine/cold wind.
Tell me about it, G! You can find out more about the lovely Seeland at their MySpace. Buy their album also, it’s out on March 16th through Loaf.
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.
Seeland – Library (LoAF)
For artists with such strong roots in significantly more difficult and cold acts like Broadcast and Plone, Seeland have certainly managed to lighten up. Library is warmly accessible, not fussy in the slightest and in possession of no more interlocking parts than are truly necessary to maintain interest. Not an awful lot happens therein, but the Gruff Rhys-esque (what a terrifyingly bad adjective…) vocals and gentle melodiousness are sweet enough, if not quite memorable enough, for the duration.
The real treat is the b-side, Call The Incredible, the swirling and lofty ostinato of which calmly asserts itself over the course of these beguiling four minutes. With a suitably dreamy anchor in place, Seeland wander around experimenting with melodic fragments for quite some time, bringing it all to a climax of freewheeling soundscaping… you can feel yourself gently lifting off the planet. It’s no place to get stuck and make a career, but for a short while at least, there’s plenty of bliss to be harvested.
Library is released on December 15th via LoAf Recordings, with its parent album emerging, all wet and warm, in March. Listen to these two tracks and more at their MySpace.