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EP review: Seafret - Monsters

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After their ambitious debut, Tell Me It's Real, Seafret have garnered a large and loyal fan base, with over 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify and 62 million Spotify streams on their top song 'Oceans'. 

With music videos featuring Game of Thrones' lead Maisie Williams, as well as having previously supported the likes of Hozier, Kodaline and James Bay on tour, the Yorkshire duo have certainly made their mark on the indie folk scene. Seafret, otherwise known as Jack Sedman and Harry Draper, are now upping the ante with Monsters.

The four-track EP produced and co-written with Ross Hamilton at Rocket Science Recording Studios in Glasgow and features lead single 'Monsters'; a brooding, atmospheric taster. Alongside previously released track ‘Can’t Look Away’ sites two brand new songs ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Heartles'. Lead vocalist Jack Sedman and guitarist Harry Draper have, in the past, allowed their seaside setting to mould the shapes and spaces of their records, however, Monsters was recorded in the Scottish Highlands within an area that is completely new to them both. And it's refreshing.

Their forte may be slower songs, but once they steer towards more up-tempo rhythms, they succeed miraculously. Title track and EP opener 'Monsters' takes a walk on the wild side with brooding, dark-folk lyricism: "Smoke in my chest from my last cigarette / And the dogs start to howl at the moon". Alongside the hard-hitting drum beat, the track helps to set the tone to the indie-rock EP in the same ilk as Imagine Dragons' debut.

The second track 'Can't Look Away' is still as hard-hitting, with a continuous heartbeat sound that almost turns into an omnipresent, white noise throughout; emphasising the pain of not wanting something but feeling compelled to attach oneself to it. The rest of the EP continues as strong as it begins, combining the grace and airs of acoustic with a grittier vocal that really makes you sit up and listen.

'Bad Blood' builds anticipation, opening with gracious and sweet harmonies that slowly roll into the chorus. Such subtleties enhance the delightful nature of the vocals and the reaffirmation of love - a theme which bursts through the seams. The song is hopeful and dives in head first, describing a lover that Sedman hopes to make amends with "Treat you like a runway while you're faced down in a mud / I'd never do that to you / You know I never could". The later verse is repeated in the end to emphasise the premise of the song "We've got something so good / Let's leave behind the bad blood".

Contrary to its title, the EP closer 'Heartless' is soothing and warm, leaving you satisfied like after a good cup of tea. 'Heartless' gives a sense that Seafret are ending the record by landing softly at the finish line by reverting back to their earlier sound, not in a tedious way but in a way that feels like it is coming home. "She will search for another / She will never look back and she's so pretty / I'm just not like that", the gut-wrenching agony and desperation takes spotlight within Jack Sedman's raspy, pitch-perfect vocals, translating into something of the ocean, something that is smooth on the surface but hold a lot more as you explore deeper.

Overall, Monsters explores the processes of life's pain and grief, travelling through waves of anger and sadness in a process. Seafret have developed their own self-healing process, steering themselves towards a fuller sound without driving off course. We can only imagine how amazing the potential acoustic version of this album could be.

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