INTERVIEW: Seazoo | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

The music of Welsh band Seazoo comes from a faraway yet strangely familiar place – it is an audio postcard sent from the sunny, colourful side of life. As colourful, perhaps, as the attractive pop-artworks that grace their album covers. The self-described ‘DIY band’, named after Anglesey Sea Zoo, have just released their second album Joy on their own Big Terry label. On listening to Joy, it’s impossible not to marvel at its gentle, humorous optimism and quaint hopefulness. It’s a cosy, immediately familiar collection of upbeat guitar pop songs, radiating with the curiously lasting glow of the indie 90s. Though I thought of David Lowery’s warm voice and shambolic aesthetics the first time I heard St Hilary Sings (from their 2018 album, Trunks), the band’s closer influences are to be found in Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Supper Furry Animals, Pavement or Grandaddy.

Seazoo – Ben (vocals and guitar), LLinos (vocals, keys and artwork), Steff (vocals and drums), Dan (guitar) and Mike (bass) – have been together since 2014, and the sense of cohesion and tranquil togetherness seeps through their music. I asked Ben where the persisting lightness of Joy came from. Having formerly written from (and about) darker places, he set out to study and document “personal happiness” – drawing inspiration from everyday, passing moments of bliss.

There just seems to be so much rubbish and real darkness around every corner right now. The research for the songs made me feel better, which was an unexpected bonus

“I began looking at the different things that people try to do to make themselves happy. I looked at happiness in my own life. It then became an exercise in escapism for me as much as anything else. There just seems to be so much rubbish and real darkness around every corner right now. The research for the songs made me feel better, which was an unexpected bonus. I wrote songs at weddings, or whilst running in nature. I looked at how friends changed their lives in search of happiness; I wrote on holidays and often really focused in on the pleasure in the day-to-day.”

Joy was recorded over five days at Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate and finished off at home in Wrexham. Ben started writing these new songs in 2018, immediately after the band’s luminous debut – Trunks – was released. Only ten of the sixteen tracks initially recorded in the studio made the cut so Seazoo still have “a load of tunes that didn’t really fit, and other beauties sitting on a hard drive half-finished” – which lucky fans may get to hear live.

When the band are able to get back on the road, touring still feels like an adventurous gamble for the band, and one can’t help but feel inspired by their quiet perseverance, and the particular, bright climate their songs generate everywhere they travel.

Seazoo’s album, Joy, is out now via their own Big Terry label. Check out their collection of merch on their website. The band’s gig at The Cumberland Arms has now been rescheduled to Friday 14th August.

 

Like this story? Share it!