Seafarers are a tight-knit ensemble of five diverse artists that represent some of the most notable voices in modern folk and improvisational music. To broaden their international fame, they issued two albums, “Orlando” in 2020 and “II” this year. Seafarers, known for their distinct combination of indie folk and chamber pop, were created in 2018 by songwriter and saxophonist Matthew Herd to make their debut album.
The first half of “II” delves into the facade, the fanciful self we exhibit at parties, and our fixation with that cool one you’re dying to hang out with who’s charming, backstabbing, manipulative, handsome, and destructive. Themes that dominate include petulance, sexuality, high school discos, gaslighting, arson, and falsehoods.
“A Disappearing Act” is a gently syncopated mid-tempo composition framed by finely rounded keys that begin to flow upward until increasing tempi and intensity in the chorus performed by lead vocalist Lauren Kinsella (Snowpoet, Kit Downes). The lyrics remember Herd’s early romances, which were characterized by confusing and loveless displays of affection.
The second song, “Good Beginners,” highlights the album’s superb work. It is made up of mild guitars, gentle synth bass, and an addicting piano melody that is well combined and mesmerizes the listener’s heart throughout the song. This tune is structurally sound and has a lot of promise.
The exuberant hopeful start of “Newlyweds,” the third song on the “II,” with Kinsella’s clear and honestly unadorned singing, evokes the excitement of high school parties. Seafarers have startled listeners with something fresh, and the track’s modest incorporation of percussions supports that well. The melodies are seductive and joyful, and they stick with you long after you’ve heard the tune. The song is an excellent blend of powerful composition and sensitive poetry.
Track four, “Nathalie,” has jazzy drumming, two-part vocal melodies, and a slew of synth arps that add a nice touch to the ambiance. Seafarers appear to be sharing a current ethnic fibril vibe in this song. A brilliant work that’s both innovative and acquainted. The drums provide a quick-paced pulse, yet the soothing production grounds the song, making it feel as real and innocent as the vocals.
“A Perfect Frost” is the fifth single, and it is an ethereal song that is hypnotic to listen to. Lauren Kinsella’s peaceful yet compelling vocals with so much range and soul make “A Wonderful Lost” a perfect convergence of R&B and pop.
While the first half examines the exterior, the second half focuses on what’s going on behind the scenes, beginning with “The Curators,” the sixth song on the “II” album. This track is a ballad about the guilt Held felt about his sexuality from his youth into his twenties.
“You Can’t Pretend in the Dark” is the seventh single and is a piano-driven song with spoken word lyrics by outstanding writer Matthew Herd that sounds incredibly attractive to any audience and has a feel that somehow captivates the listener in it while shattering through.
The eighth single, “Submarine,” includes a soothing piano over a laid-back beat and is quite infectious. Lauren’s calming vocals take center stage in a beautiful, somber backdrop, and the tone of her voice mixes in flawlessly with the accompaniment.
“All That Matters” is the album’s last but one single, and it’s a song I expect people will get stuck in their minds and appreciate at a surface level since the lyrics discuss the effort required to keep love alive. It appears to be a happy song at first, but a deeper listen reveals a darker message.
Finally, the “II” album concludes with the poignant track “Particular Conflicts.” Tom Taylor’s emotional solo piano performance serves as an appropriate outro to this CD. It starts with a calm ambiance, which is then topped with a melodic piano, making it vibrant.
Listen to the “II” album by Seafarers on Spotify and let us know what you think. Cheers!