Dieser Tage erscheint das dritte Album der in Barcelona beheimateten Free Song-Feingeister von SEWARD. Hier sind ihre exklusiven Kommentare zu den Songs von Second Two: Chapter Home, das, man mag es bei dem Titel glauben oder nicht, den letzten Teil einer Trilogie bildet…
Coming to life amid a clock factory of clicks, rattles, ticks and backwards guitar samples, ‘Sesame’ is all delicate banjo plucking and restrained, sweet croon, its plangent guitar sailing through an intricate sea of percussive clicks and whirrs, string picks and stirring. An introduction to the band’s magical thinking.
SO TOO SOON
Upwards to the light from aquatic depths, honeyed vocals lead us through distorted waves into a sudden surge of melodic beauty, part Arcade Fire, part Flaming Lips. Strings herald a heavy, distortion pedal guitar crunch before a dissonant collapse, drums falling inward and pianos jarring, before soaring back into the ragged glory of one of Seward’s most distinctive, original songs.
The poignant interplay of banjo figures, cellos, delicately played drums and restrained voice on ‘Life’ has a nostalgic air. As much a proper song as a detailed, evocative soundscape worthy of post-rock adventurers Godspeed You Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky or Mogwai.
The vocals dance dexterously across the soundstage, before a melancholy guitar part reminiscent of Radiohead lifts ‘Sweet Kick’ into radio anthem territory. And that’s to say nothing of its liquid, haunting organ or the unexpected, optimistic, well, kick of the chorus. Lush.
Propelled by a jazzy bass part, clever melodic twists and turns, Seward effortlessly demonstrate their telepathic communication on ‘A Summer’. Avoiding the typical, the band spot a lesser trodden path and take the song there too. Urgent, controlled, powerful in equal measure.
Ethereal synths and acoustic guitar, horns and ambient textures adorn this dreamlike piece. How a gorgeous song emerges from the mist is dazzling. The mixture is like nothing else out there.
Nodding to Can and Harmonia, the krautrock drums, and bass guitar rhythms of ‘1o 1a’ decorate poetic language and heavy indie guitar, the spooky, unmistakable tones of a Theremin in earshot. Epic in ambition and scale.
In thrall to Americana, the banjos nod to alt. country, bands like Calexico or Sparklehorse. But the Jeff Buckley-like vox, layers of guitar, horns and strings take this far beyond anything expected.
The sense of an ending, and a beginning. Seward recognizing their extraordinary potential. ‘Capture Spirals’ has a sense of pregnant tension, expectation, beauty, the unknown, in its tremulous string plucking. It has all the hallmarks of that indefinable enigmatic quality stamped on all the best bands.
Second Two: Chapter Home
(Naim Records / Rough Trade)