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seasurfer zombies
Artist: Seasurfer
Title: Zombies
Genre: Shoegaze / Dreampop
Release Date: 11th December 2020
Label: Reptile Music


Album Review

It slinks around in many guises, but Shoegaze, as a genre, is the itch that refuses to be scratched away. The Great Shoegaze Revival (I think I may have just invented that) lasted longer than the original movement, which if we’re honest wasn’t a movement at all since the whole point of it was to stand still. Earnest young men (on the whole) playing fuzzed-up guitars and mumbling over feedback while starring at the tips of their Converse, feigning shyness behind floppy fringes and a lot of smoke…. but the music was a fine thing to behold and it’s the well that keeps giving in many ways. SEASURFER prefer the term “Dream-Punk” to describe their music, but let’s not quibble. It’s Shoegaze. And it’s magnificent.

Formed in 2012, German ex-DARK ORANGE mainstay Dirk Knight has settled on vocalist Apolonia for new album ‘Zombies’, although he has also recently recorded a companion mini-album with KIRLIAN CAMERA singer Elena Fossi (sadly not included in the press-pack, but I’m sure it’ll be fab). If the aim is to grab you and not let go, then ‘SOS’ as an opening track is a canny piece of musical glue, pulsing and shimmering around every 4AD band that ever existed and given a sci-fi electronic backdrop, whispered vocals periodically crying out in pleasure, pain or just for the hell of it. I’ve no idea what is going here and frankly I don’t care. It could be a song about finding a bone in your Chicken McNuggets and it’d still send you spiralling skywards in a reverie. Best first-song-on-an-album this year, easily.

Of course after that, what to do? Easy. On ‘Too Wild’ the solution is more layers. More spooky, ethereal, alluring vocals. A bassline that could be COCTEAU TWINS. These aren’t songs, they’re whooshes and waves and washes of colour and noise and texture, they’re aural paintings and sketches, fluid and multi-dimensional. Clever stuff indeed. On the title track, there’s a darkness nibbling around the edges, ‘Chemical Reaction’ burbles around like it’s just been sent back in time to hedonist’s paradise Ibiza, stopping off for a drink with DIE FORM on the way, and ‘Secrets’ goes for the pop jugular, swamping itself happily in blissful noise in between the prettiness. Perhaps a bit of gardening here and there might benefit the whole, as 16 tracks does feel a teeny bit overgrown. But what to prune?

Even the odd pedestrian passage, where our protagonists seem to have wandered off into the bushes, is brought deliriously back to life when you least expect it - ‘Into Your Sin’, for example, nudging you awake just as it lulled you into slumber. It’s the shading here that keeps things interesting, and lifts the obvious limitations of the genre into something quite delicious at times. To release you from their wondrous world, SEASURFER give you ‘Dead In The Garden’, a song so layered it’s like wearing ten sets of headphones at once, and the simply gorgeous ‘Time After Time’, a breathtakingly beautiful kiss-off that lingers like a fine perfume long after silence is allowed to settle once more.

SEASURFER have released an album here that is simply on another level. It’s timeless, despite its musical debts, a creative whirlpool of sonic artistry that far surpasses others who have tried to tap into the dream-pop/shoegaze zeitgeist. This pure, enchanting escapism is a rare thing of absolute beauty. Treasure it.


Tracklist

01. SOS
02. Too Wild
03. Zombies
04. Tears And Happiness
05. Drifting
06. Chemical Reaction
07. Devils Walk
08. Love Me… Dead!
09. Pretend
10. Secrets
11. Lovers Breakdown
12. Heaven
13. Into Your Sin
14. Venusberg
15. Dead In The Garden
16. Time After Time


Line-up

Dirk Knight
Apolonia

Website

https://www.facebook.com/seasurfer


Cover Picture

seasurfer zombies


Rating

Music: 9
Sound: 9
Total: 9 / 10




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