album review: dead letters by sealight

so, a couple weeks back, i did a french week – and today’s band really ought to have been featured, too (even though they’re more of a french/australian mix). in any case, i recently got a chance to listen to sealight’s latest EP, dead letters, and liked it so much that i figured you all needed to hear about it.

there are a lot of different kinds of albums out there – some are meant to entertain as soundtracks to parties and fun. some are romantic and perfect fodder for instilling the right mood in happy relationships and then there are some that are riddled with angst, companions to carry you through difficult, messy emotions. there are those albums which are pure pop drivel and there are those that aspire to become art. and that’s one of the great things about music, friends. whatever kind of mood or companion you seek, there is a band out there with the music you need.

sealight doesn’t make the kind of music you play on fun road trips or during dinner parties. no – their hushed sounds are more of the sort of ambiance that comes with introspection. it’s the kind of music you listen to when you’ve got problems and are trying to puzzle them out, the kind you turn to on gray, soft days. i

like this kind of music, with it’s quiet strength.

their latest EP, dead letters, is actually a collection of letters and texts from the band’s family members in france and australia, something i find intriguing. these snatches of real life give the songs a bit of a personalized edge that draws the listener in yet remains generalized enough for separate connections to be made through the concept of reliving and retracing the paths and ties of relationships. layered guitars serve as the perfect background for lead singer sandra rossini’s lovely vocals – and lovely they are, with their mixture of sweetness and just the barest hint of melancholy. there are soft synths, horns, and drum machines that never threaten to overwhelm – instead, the combination of all of these elements serve to create a cohesive blend of gorgeousness that can’t help but leave a listener feeling more than a smidge introspective.

some highlights . . .

when the rain starts, with it’s echo-y horns painting the background, remind me, in the smallest way, of the blue nile in the sense that it creates a visual landscape of blurred windows awash with watercolor. everything here is fuzzy, as if you’re on a train moving at speeds that don’t allow specifics, only colors. it’s haunting in it’s beauty. in white walk, you’re taken to chilly places (more so than simply the talk) and then there’s the moon, with it’s steady guitar lines that lead the listener through it’s story with almost no respite, much like overwhelming emotions a person can’t escape. and then there are the bookends, dead letters at the opening and la nieve at the end which nicely contradict each other with dueling sensations of resolution and then hope.

it’s really a beautiful album. stream it below:

buy dead letters by sealight HERE.

One Comment on ““album review: dead letters by sealight”

  1. Mitzie Greccocco

    You make an interesting case for Sealight and the sort of conceptual games they play with musical identity and cultural identification, which seems to always be an issue with French pop rock music, but you might consider that there is also an American duo that messes with boundaries of art, style and even sanity and that’s Dicey and Paprika, see here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *