Seafret’s debut album Tell Me It’s Real is a strong start for the Bridlington based duo. Vocalist Jack Sedman and guitarist Harry Draper manage to capture love, longing and joy all in one go, and do so with catchy vocals and a relaxed folk-pop sound. The band has so far, supported the likes of Kodaline, Hozier and Jake Bugg, to rave reviews recently.
The album starts with “Missing” and paints a picture of the band’s style throughout the whole album. The track uses a gentle piano melody and acoustic guitar to gradually build into a faster paced ballad. The lyrics describe the battles of a lost soul “is there something that I’m missing, is there something I am not seeing, is it not enough just being?” The track is also layered nicely over a haunting echo and encourages a self-reflective captivating effect on the listener.
Although I would say this is a strange choice for the beginning track on the album it does rather set the scene of the duo’s beach-side thought provoking sound. The following track “Give Me Something” contrasts a lot to its former, the track is considerably more simplistic and stripped back. Similar to later song “Tell Me It’s Real“, the song shows the band’s ability to not overcomplicate or rely on production to make and impact, and it also exemplifies Sedman’s very distinctive vocals.
Tracks like “Wildfire” and “Beauty On The Breeze” have a happier more upbeat theme showing some of the light and dark in the album’s content. The songs also show similarity to bands like Kodaline. Song “Breathe” reflects artists like James Bay, but illustrate the band’s youthful but positive take on love and life with lyrics “it’s true in the darkness I see you, breathe, don’t you let that heartbeat fall, you’ll always be where I belong“.
The standout song on the album however would still be awarded to the band’s leading single “Oceans” from their previous EP. The song develops a delicate and heartfelt idea of longing, and a lost love. It highlights Sedman’s vocal range and gentle falsetto. The track itself layers raw emotion over a chilling setting which as the title portrays paints imagery of a tide coming in and out – which is particularly impressive for the duo. The video for the track has also been made well known due to its feature of Game of Thrones’ Masie Williams – and is definitely worth a watch.
“Over” has more of a chilled Mumford and Sons effect, featuring a more upbeat pop melody and the addition of a subtle banjo. One thing that does start to become prevalent within the album is the duos effort to create balance throughout. More similar tracks are separated apart so each one can be looked at in its own light, having an overall more diverse affect. “Be There” takes on a faster pace again and begins with some skilful guitar work, the drums tend to overpower the song however to create a repetitive ballad, perhaps one of the weaker songs on the album.
Another stand out track for Seafret is “Atlantis” also one released as a single. The duo manage to create a totally atmospheric arrangement, you feel like you are with them by the sea with the subtle wave sounds. The song beautifully tells a story, and the affect created towards the end sounds like a drowning music box, also mirroring the content, “I can’t save us, my Atlantis oh no, we build it up to pull it down“.
Penultimate song “There’s A Light” provides a more relaxed pop track with lower pitched vocals, and a more dominating base line which develops the idea that the album is somewhat winding down again. The final song on the album is called “To the Sea” and it features the vocals of singer Rosey Carney. A real positive for the album to finish on, the song is an acoustic treat. Carneys vocals are incredibly strong and mirror the likes of Birdy and Lucy Rose. When side by side with Sedman’s vocals, they complement each other beautifully and create a chilling collaboration.
The deluxe comes with the additions “Out Of Nowhere“, “Overtime” and a live version of “Oceans”. “Out Of Nowhere” is another more ballad type song but again showing Seafret’s poetic lyrics. “Overtime” then brings the duo back to its folk roots and guitar plucking style.
Tell Me It’s Real is an impressive debut for Seafret; it paints beautiful poetic imagery in so many of its tracks. The duo manages to create depth and emotion throughout and successfully balance haunting and atmospheric acoustics alongside more upbeat love ballads. The album has some pop undertones but these allow the band to present more catchy and relatable lyrics but still with a poetic glaze.
Seafret is also thoughtfully named (meaning sea fog) and mirrors the album’s evocative and layered sound. Tell Me It’s Real is available now via Columbia records, purchase it on iTunes here and stream here.
Words by Becky Spear