Seashaped – Children of the Universe
Seashaped are back with their next collection of songs, a breezy uplifting followup to A Pill For Everything.
Opening with ‘Walking Back’, we are immediately brought into familiar territory with the band’s trademark guitar twangs and laid back lounge grooves. What really causes the track to stand out is the guitar squeeze that honks in and out of the mix, all wah-wah laden and full of character. It’s a reminder of the way the band manages to perform in a way that is easy going and yet totally intentional. Swinging in to ‘Heart Undone’, we are treated to some warm and hearty female vocals, all underpinned with a fun piano part and some distant organ swirls. Do some digging around in the sonics and you’ll find some gems in the mix where the music intertwines and relates with the lead vocal. There are moments on the album that feel like coming home – ‘Wild Swimming’ takes a tried and tested chord sequence, ties it together with a solid bassline, and serves the track up as a piece of mid nineties indie nostalgia, with hints of Motown influences to boot. There are some real moments of guts and glory to be found on Children of the Universe – ‘Nothing Gets Simpler’ throws powerful, reverb heavy drums at the listener, creating a cavernous landscape with electronic bleeps and flickers that sweep in and out of the mix, while ‘Small Town’ shifts into a more downtempo feel, maintaining the same tone on the acoustic guitar and creating a sense of journey. The album’s tracks connect to each other well, making it much more rewarding when listened to in one sitting. There are moments where the album feels as though we are on a long dusty route, passing through the night while the luminous lights flash past as we continue our way forward. Moments of peace and respite are to be found as well, particularly on the gentle piano led ‘Mother’, with its melodic notes ringing out. It’s a beautiful moment where the male and female vocals join together, really complementing each other and perfectly accompanied by a deep, rich, yearning cello. It’s melancholic, lonely, and introspective in a way that acts as a sonic salve on the album, and the kind of song that touches deep – highly likely to find its way onto a few of your playlists, and the perfect background for a more sedate night in or even for a time of reflection during the walk back home from the pub on a Friday night. ‘Millions and Millions’ leans back into a joyous, parping glory that is entirely indie in is aesthetic, with an added smokiness that fits right into the late night rock sounds that Seashaped create with such confidence. Closing with title track ‘Children of the Universe’, the album ties things up with a woozy, psychedelic sound. Tremolo effected vocals and a rich wash of synths sweep across the canvas before a burgeoning chorus packed with attitude explodes with its epic guitar riff, leaving the listener in no doubt they have just got to the end of a wild ride.