Seahorse Divorce is a Queensland outfit whose laid-back brand of math rock captures the feel of that state well. Their self-titled debut is a flighty yet easy-to-listen-to offering that has a down to earth, welcoming and sunny feel to it. Gently spindling guitar bleats and languid drum spatters underpin calming vocals that invite you to sit back and just chill out for a while. It’s a pleasing debut: easy on the ears and easy to leave playing in the background while you kick back and reflect on just how good life can be.

Things get started with ‘Recurring,’ an opener that manages to pull off both a mellowing and frenetic feel at the same time. It’s a good beginning, which leads into a few tracks that follow a very similar line, sticking close to a path of gentle indie/math rock with a jazzy edge. There is something of a lightness in the first few tracks, a sense of gentleness in the tunes that feel like they are floating breezily around in the background.

But at the fifth track there’s a twist in the path: ‘I’ is an (all too) brief interlude, with a burst of melodic guitar that adds some meat to the bones of this album. It’s an interlude that’s highly enjoyable, and at the same time as it added some diversity to what had passed before it, it also seemed to mark a point at which the succeeding songs seemed to take on just a little bit more edge. It’s almost imperceptible, but the vocals seem to reflect a shade more angst from this point on, and the music takes on a slightly edgier hue, right up to the next interlude, ‘II,’ which emanates a warped, almost experimental feel. By ‘Saturnine,’ Seahorse Divorce is back to its simple chords and easy-listening feel, and it felt like the album had come full circle.

Saturnine is the final track and kicks off with some epic drumming, which collide with some plaintive, wailing vocals and some rocking guitar riffs to really finish this album off on a good note. I was energised, and wanting to feel some chunky rocking beats, by this point.

This album doesn’t announce itself loudly from the outset—the songs are good, and highly listenable, but they won’t smash you over the head to grab your attention. They are tracks that tend to hang around shyly in the background, preferring to please you over picking a fight with your senses. But as it progresses, the album will kick you out of the happy reverie it will lull you into and get you up and about, looking for the party. So that’s a pretty good result, I’d say, and shows that this is an album that covers off a few bases well. What’s more, there is absolutely nothing you can dislike about this album, it is quality throughout. In their debut album, Seahorse Divorce demonstrate a talent for making positive music with a very wide appeal. Watch this space, because I think you will be hearing more about Seahorse Divorce in the future.

Seahorse Divorce on Facebook

Seahorse Divorce is available now through the band

Rating: 21/28 Days





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