From a studio in the garage (isn’t it always the case?) comes an album of instrumental pop with a low-fi feel (well, it was made in a garage), with the man behind it all, London based sound engineer Mr James Yates, creating all the sounds, doing all the mixing, mastering, the whole shabang. Described as pop for short attention spans, Seamajestea by Seamajesty is a fun ride of fast rhythms and layers of pop goodness.
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This sparkly pink joy of a record -- called ‘Seamajestea’ and performed by an artist called Seamajesty -- sounds like if M83, London Grammar, Beach House, Zammuto and the drummer from Brandt Brauer Frick all met at a laser quest roller disco where flares were mandatory and talking was considered a total moodkiller. The guitar riffs are fluorescent, or else a beautiful white smoke colour, and the piano chords are hefty, like the hands playing them have dovetailed from a great height and serendipitously landed in all the right places. No one talks, unless it’s with their arms and legs. Talking is useless: there’s no need to ask “How are you?” when you’re having this much fun, when the answer to that question is just a dance move.
The dude behind ‘Seamajestea’ and its exuberant silhouettes is actually James Yates, an artist driven by rhythmic impulses and positively urgent tempos. He works in quick, immeasurable bursts of time, switching his tracks up like the best EDM DJ: give the audience what they want, and then pull the rug from underneath them and replace it with one just as bright and silly. It’s a fast and ferocious affair, but it’s diversely packed and comes with a hundred aesthetic moodswings: it traverses folk and electronica and steadies a course between acoustic and programmed. At times, his work recedes into little ambient segues that show he wants to craft a true dance pop experience, allowing the audience to simmer on the acoustically driven second half of “Double Carb”, which sounds influenced by Brian Eno and Jon Hassell as well as the ever-chilled Delicate Steve. The song erupts in a distorted haze, all the while sounding like it’s been made on the back porch.
Half the time, ‘Seamajestea’ sounds like a dude in his bedroom trying to make music you can listen to anywhere and everywhere -- kind of like Zammuto, who’s able to make his electro-pop a snug fit in any situation. At other times, though, it sounds like a distinctly outdoors affair, washed out with the sea, like chillwave that forgot to chill. There’s so much to unpack, in this party, so much sound tethered to every corner of recording, that it’s hard to know where one moment begins and the next ends. But concentrating on that is like trying to work out what the colours underneath your eyelids are: it’s an impossible experience, but we do it because we like having our minds blown.
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