At this point, it may sound like a broken record when all critics are leaning towards the same direction when describing this album’s overall vibe, but referring to the perfectly apt naming of the band Seafret in relation to their music is absolutely inescapable. So, let’s just get it out of the way: as far as bands named after a word meaning “a mist coming in from the sea,” it’s pretty great that Jack Sedman and Harry Draper encapsulate just that with the pleasant pairing of vocals and instrumentation that can come altogether like a gentle wind or an explosion of force. The ebb and flow of the album, with light synth accentuating just that throughout, is encapsulated strongly in that singular word, and it might just be that which gains Seafret most of their initial recognition – that darn name being spot-on.
Then there is this record’s seemingly natural flow between authenticity and commerciality. By all means a bonafide edition to the ever-expansive folk music family, Seafret verge on something so listenable that they are quite the radio-ready duo. Sedman commands his vocal space with a brewing, reserved passion that is altogether scintillating to behold alongside the slight spot of satisfying grit in his tone, and when he lets out a nice, controlled roar every now and then, you can tell that he is brimming with a verve deserving of the frontman pedestal. Multi-instrumentalist Draper does incredibly well keeping the pace, providing the initial soundscape for a strong, emotional vocalist like Sedman to come in and do his thing – and it feels just about as varied as the ocean’s back-and-forth could be itself. In a sense, they play out like a gruffer, more world-aware rendition of James Bay, and considering where Bay is these days, that comparison isn’t too bad at all.
Words: Jonathan Frahm