Hailing from the same city that produced the trip-hop elite of Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky, Bristolian four-piece Seasfire’s blend of textured electronica and downbeat melodies appears just as tailor-made for the 4-am post-party comedown as their nocturnal predecessors.
Formed whilst at school/college, the quartet’s fondness for swapping mix-tapes and DJing at each other’s parties eventually resulted in them buying a bunch of broken computers and second-hand studio equipment, where they began fusing their love of Jeff Buckley, Burial and Echo & The Bunnymen into a cohesive sound.
Displaying the same fondness for spaciousness as James Blake but with the added bonus of an actual melody, debut single “Falling” was described as a ‘game changer’ by influential XFM DJ Mary Anne Hobbs and surprisingly found its way on to the Radio 1 playlist earlier this year, prompting certain quarters of the music press to hail Seasfire as the ‘dubstep Coldplay.’
But while frontman Josh Thorn’s vocals possess the same heart-wrenching emotive qualities as Chris Martin, Seasfire are an entirely different prospect. Indeed, it’s difficult to imagine the stadium rock outfit claiming they write songs “about the dead end relationships they’ve been in and the general feeling of hopelessness in unemployment – with too much time on their hands and dreaming of escape,” while the Anton Corbijn-inspired black-and-white promo for the atmospheric “Heartbeat” owes more to “Enjoy The Silence” and “Atmosphere” than “Viva La Vida.”
New track “While Others Run,” a dubby take on Hurts’ 80s synth-pop pastiches, suggests the band aren’t afraid of the mainstream. But their soundscapes are undoubtedly more compelling when they’re at the skeletal end of the spectrum, whether it’s the hymnal ambience of “First and Last Time,” the swampy post-R&B of “Undone” or the echo-laden dubstep of “Human Sacrifice.”
Seasfire’s cover version of Bombay Bicycle Club backing vocalist Lucy Rose’s “Shiver,” which turns the delicate slice of acoustic folk into a glitchy electro-ballad, and their woozy remix of Lana Del Rey’s “National Anthem” are equally haunting, suggesting that whenever they do eventually get round to announcing a debut album, it could be very special indeed.