Dead Letters EP

Written by: DR on 11/11/2011 16:09:32

From Australia and France we have Sealight, who are now based in Paris. The band only formed earlier this year and only played their first show in support of this release, which should give you some idea of how 'new' this band apparently are. Then you listen to their first release, "Dead Letters", and it doesn't sound like this band are new at all as it's surprisingly and remarkably assured.

Lyrically, the album is inspired by a collection of letters and texts surrounding the lives of the group's families in France and Australia, however, as interesting as this concept is, it's not where the band win you over. Instrumentally, the band draw from the ambience of Sigur Ros and Cocteau Twins (helped by Robin Guthrie's flawless production) by using guitar noises and drones, acoustic plucking and occasional horn-inclusions to create a soothing atmosphere, which sets the perfect backdrop for the vocals of Sandra Rossini, who is confident and operates with a swagger, yet never tries to over-extend her voice or play too heavily on her sultry French accent; the result is hypnotic. What makes "Dead Letters" an engrossing listen is how the tracks flow together so seamlessly. For instance, the rise and fall nature of "The Moon" blends into the tranquillity of the minimalistic effort "When The Rain Starts" - two very different songs, but Sealight handle it gracefully.

In conclusion, "Dead Letters" is surprisingly cohesive, especially considering EP releases are usually a collection of songs as opposed to following a concept, but what really stands out is how the tell-tale signs of a debut, such as inconsistency or poor production, are nowhere to be found on "Dead Letters", so much so you'd think this band are deep into their career given how polished and controlled the execution of it is. Moreover, because of how assured it is and how talented the members are when it comes to constructing soundscapes, this is the kind of record you allow yourself to be gradually drawn into - that, for an EP, is quite an achievement.

Download: The Moon, La Nieve
For The Fans of: Sigur Ros, Cocteau Twins
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 17.10.2011

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