Exclusive: A new album and an overdue repress
We’re honoured that seablite have signed all copies of their new album Lemon Lights and included a FREE MOBILE for all yr dream-state needs.
San Franciscan dream merchants follow up their debut Grass Stains and Novocaine with something new, even fresher, an absolute clutch of diamonds in the shape of songs. Lemon Lights is an elevated version of the band, bigger where it counts, more heartfelt where it counts, maybe it all just counts hard.
If previously the band sought to re-cast classic Indie Pop with a sugar-rush of fuzz and chorus on this outing the band have turned everything up several notches. Moving away from the overt 80s influences into something glossier, more melodic, more considered but also, in the way the guitar dynamics are used to crash into the stereo field like a massive hit on the ol’ shoe gaze bong, kind of epic and overwhelming in the emotional field. Seablite have this kind of way of injecting emotion INTO motion, turning a deft melodic phrase or guitar lick into a feeling that grabs yr hand and yanks you out the door into the face of life, rushing headlong into heartache or ecstasy. The influence of the classic 4AD Shoegazin’ pop groups is still rife on Lemon Lights but there’s an economy and succinctness to the songs, each part honed and sharpened for maximum emotional impact. From the harmonised vocal melody on Monochrome Rainbow chiming against the repeated minor key guitar riff to the frankly great Baggy influence in the moping drum patterns, every part of Lemon Lights seems essential and elemental – check the big Stone Roses influence on smasher Hit The Wall (and a vocal melody that has a slight eau de Strawberry Switchblade) for example.
There’s definitely a focus on big Pop sounds and guitar incisiveness but there’s also a gorgeous depth to a track like Orbiting My Sleep, shimmering into a galaxy of dream with an almost somatic pull on the heart, the very organ you can feel dripping out your body on several points on the record, so precise are seablite at tugging at it.
Cascading in on a blurry, fuzzy wash of guitar layers and somatic, dreamy vocals, Seablite’s debut album performs magic. Like all the pop music it kind of sounds like all of its influences and yet totally fresh, like hearing The Primitives or Sea Urchins or early Lush for the first time.
Grass Stains and Novocaine was originally released back in June 2019 at the beginnings, it seems, of the current tidal wave of guitar donning dreamers out of the Bay Area. Taking inspiration from all the great eras and areas: 1980s Glasgow, 1990s London, 2000 San Francisco, this group have a dayglo about them in a way that sometimes monochrome DIY pop doesn’t. On their debut they sometimes sound like the chart-bothering version of Lush being covered by the shoe gaze version, or early Primal Scream with fuzz pedals instead of jangle and its glorious. Criss crossing female vocals dragging out the melodies across the chords in the perfect aching way (makes us think of Veronica Falls, a little), backing vocals and a tight ’n’ taut band behind driving everything to near-punk speed at times, hanging back into dreamworld like on He’s A Vacuum Chamber.
As we mentioned before, it’s hard to pull this magic off, you know. On Polygraph they summon the ghosts of Garage rockers past but infused with chiming guitars and heart-tugging singing, while Haggard hits like PEAK Sarah Records. I mean, you probably know the influences, you probably get what they’re trying to do so turn your brain off and your heart ON.