Five-piece contemporary folk group Seafarers released their second full-length album titled “II” on February 4th this year. Their latest release has gathered over 300k streams on Spotify in just a few months. The London-based Seafarers are known for their eccentric composition style that includes a mix of soothing acoustics and improvisation. They have incorporated this sound in their new ten-track album brilliantly, so put on your best pair of headphones enjoy the ride!
The group introduces the album with a soft piano-driven track- A Disappearing Act. Over mellow keys and some acoustic drums, vocalist Lauren Kinsella sets the flow of the album with her delicate voice, singing playfully, and with a lot of heart as the track progresses.
Right from the get-go, the album has a very indie-folk sound to it, emphasised by the subtle yet intricate instrumentation. Track two, Good Beginners showcases this excellently, with faint guitars, a soft synth bass and an addictive piano medley, all mixed to perfection! “My fingers trace the line / Between the gestures and the signs / Unravel and collide / But maybe it’s alright / To be a good beginner.” Strings accompany the keys smoothly and add to the playful feel of the track.
Newlyweds starts off with a comparatively upbeat rock-drum rhythm – somewhat tight and to the point. As the title suggests, they sing about the rush of emotions that newlyweds might experience – celebration, lust, love. Through heartfelt lyricism and catchy melodies, they create an exciting sound here!
Track four Nathalie features jazzy drums, two-part vocal melodies and a bunch of synth arps that colour up the soundscape really well. Seafarers seem to be sharing a contemporary folk fusion-like sound here; a top-notch composition that’s fresh yet familiar.
We’re half-way through the album with A Perfect Frost – an ethereal ballad that is so soothing to listen to that it’s hypnotizing. At 7:45, it’s hard to get bored of the track because of all the super laid-back musical elements and ear candy. Seafarers sure do know how to reel their listeners in and keep them craving for more satisfying arrangements!
The Curators starts off with Laurens’s soaring vocals over delicate keys, the main instrument in this particular track. She sings a heart-warming tune about passion and the cycle of love in a relatable way. Accompanied by lush strings as the track progresses, it gets very emotional towards the end; a fantastic composition and masterful production.
You Can’t Pretend in the Dark is a piano-driven song with a spoken word lyric by the talented writer Matthew Herd. “The crimson parts that drip with shame / In locker rooms. I won’t evade / This ambient uncertainty / But you can’t pretend in the dark”. Seafarers are now exploring slightly rough waters it seems, with somewhat dark melodies and gospel-like vocals that narrate a story.
Track seven Submarine features a mellow piano over a laid-back groove. The instrumentation supports the nostalgic lyrics beautifully with Lauren’s voice taking centre stage. “Submarine, Soaking in another dream You seem, More vivid than you are. “
The six-minute-long piano ballad All That Matters talks about the effort it takes to keep love alive. Strong relationships come from strong bonds and only once we start to lose those bonds do we realize of important they are. With Arun Thavasothy, Matthew Herd, Euan Burton, and Patrick Phillips as vocalists on this track, there’s a special vocal texture that really stands out here, making this one my favourite songs of the list!
The 52 minute ‘II’ ends with the very moving Perfect Conflicts – an emotive solo piano performance by Tom Taylor and an apt outro to this magical album.
‘II‘ by Seafarers explores the memories of childhood and adolescence in a special way, touching on themes of nostalgia and youth lyrically while showcasing an exquisite musical palette at the same time. Their attention to detail in composition, production and performing give them the edge over other groups in the same genre. Having amassed over half a million streams on Spotify, it’s only a matter of the time before this London-based indie-folk group start headlining festivals!