Sea Change #4 - Squares

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"Squares" is the latest installment to be heard from Ellen A. W. Sunde's Sea Change ahead of the release of her debut full length album Breakage on February 23rd. 

The track finds her, as ever, in sparkling, translucent form with a track that combines stark, natural textures, cascading soundscapes and beautifully haunting vocals, here looping, shimmering synths and Ellen's crystal clear vocals are effervescent as they swirl and twinkle with ever more divine and powerful intent. 

One of my most eagerly awaited releases of the year so far, it promises to be a rewarding, immersive listen for fans of icy, magical synth-pop. Breakage is available to pre-order now via the Sea Change website.

Sea Change #3 - Above

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The first of my 'tips for 2015' to strike with release news is Sea Change, Oslo's Ellen A. W. Sunde announced not only the release of her debut album Breakage (due 23rd February) but also its lead single "Above" just before Christmas and whilst it's not at all festive the collision of Ellen's icy vocals and chilly synths are entirely suited to the colder months.

"Above" is the poppiest song heard from Sea Change to date, taking her cascading Fever Ray esque rhythms and hypnotising vocal to soaring 80's pop heights with a chorus that rises from the immersive, twinkling melody.  

I've been looking forward to a chance to see Sea Change live since last May's The Great Escape where Ellen delivered by set of the festival, a dark, stark, intense performance that sent shivers down my spine and I'm glad to finally be able to report that a date is set, February 27th at London's Sebright Arms - tickets - see you there.

Fifteen for 2015 #2 - Sea Change

SEA CHANGE - FACEBOOK // www.seachange.no

Sea Change (aka Norway's Ellen Sundes) was one of my revelations at The Great Escape (and judging by the reviews I've read, many others too). Even as an act I'd blogged about before the festival I was taken aback by her live show, performing as a trio in a pitch black (and tiny) basement I saw as intense and chilly a set I've ever witnessed - easily one of the years highlights and that in a year when I've seen Prince three times - extraordinarily dark, her (surprisingly) epic electronic soundscapes and bass guitar rhythms combined perfectly around undeniably sweet, ethereal vocals. It was simply stunning.

The studio version of "Bridges" was released a couple of days before I departed for Brighton and with some distance from that performance it still mesmerises, starting relatively calm with ambient glitches, effects and spectral vocals immersing you fully within a hypnotic, dream-like state before spiraling to a searing finale of electronic noise, guitar and emotion. 

"Let's Dance" and "Bursting" served as my introduction back in April, the former (not a Bowie cover)  is full of lush soundscapes and bewitching ambiance that exemplifies Sea Change, a slow-burn rise in melody through skittering electronics, vivid textures and natural space before rising with mysterious, tension-laden atmosphere.. The result is undeniably cold and intense but deeply emotive and beautiful too. An album is promised soon and I cannot wait.

Sea Change's website has a London date penciled in for Feb 27th - hopefully I shall see you there.

The Best Songs of 2014 So Far (Part Two)

10. Lazy Day - With My Mind

"With My Mind" is most fully realised track that Tilly has released thus far under her Lazy Day pseudonym. Earlier tracks shared on her Soundcloud suited the band name (currently just Tilly, with hopefully a live band and dates to follow) perfectly, full of plaintive daydreams and spacious, echoed vocals. "With My Mind" takes that further with a brooding intensity and a hypnotic guitar riff that will embed itself in your brain, couple it with Tilly's magnetic voice, her sumptuous, soothing tones wrap around you and soon you're lost deep within.



9. Rae Morris - Skin

Rae returns to make 2014 her own with a new track "Skin", easily her finest to date and as devastating a moment as the year has offered us to date. "Skin", and please excuse the pun, gets under exactly that as metronomic piano chords chime with elegant simplicity amongst delicate vocals and luscious string instrumentation. It's all beautifully timed and Rae's lyrics possess a dark, haunting edge, the result is sure to bring goose-bumps to listeners all over.



8.Sea Change - Bridges

Sea Change (aka Ellen Sundes) was one of my revelations at The Great Escape (and judging by the reviews I've read, many others too). Even as an act I'd blogged about before the festival I was taken aback by her live show, performing as a trio in a pitch black (and tiny) basement I saw as intense and chilly a set I've ever, extraordinarily dark, her (surprisingly) epic electronic soundscapes and bass guitar rhythms combined perfectly around her undeniably sweet, ethereal vocal. It was simply stunning. The studio version of "Bridges" was released a couple of days before I departed for Brighton and with some distance from that performance the track still mesmerises, it starts relatively calm with ambient glitches, effects and spectral vocals immersing you within its hypnotic, dream-like state before spiraling to a searing finale of electronic noise, guitar and emotion.



7. The Night VI - Sienna

"Sienna" is simply magnificent, built around the crystal clear voice of Sophie-Rose, here filled with more heartache and emotion that you could bottle, the track will connect with anyone whose ever let someone they love slip through their fingers (pretty sure that's most of us) and supported by spacious, blissed-out instrumentation it provides an irresistible listen from its first to last moment.



6. Lykke Li - Love Me Like I'm Not Made Of Stone

...sparse and confessional with languid, haunting acoustic echoes the sole accompaniment for Lykke's devastating delivery, you can tangibly feel her emotion throughout - what a beauty.



5. Sophie Jamieson - Stain / Other

"Stain" leaves exactly that on you, combining Sophie's delectable vocals, heart shattering lyrics and restrained instrumentation, the perfect marriage of space and structure to get under your skin with spine-tingling effect. The track comes backed with "Other", a fully realised beauty which highlights her bands influence more than ever. A stark, haunting drip feed of emotion.



4. Eliza Shaddad - You For Me

Labelled as a radio edit and yet six minutes in length (that's the same length as Bohemian Rhapsody, a story I'm sure we've all heard) the track epitomises the soft and graceful style of Eliza's music. "You For Me" really is as pretty a moment as I've heard all year, a genuine love song with ringing guitar patterns and a delicate, haunting backdrop which slowly introduces Eliza's stunning vocals, gorgeous and defiant, here coupled with lyrics as optimistic and heartfelt as you're ever likely to hear. "You For Me" is the sort of track that will bring you to a stand still whatever you are doing - simply magical.



3. Lisa Alma - Bittersweet

"Bittersweet", comes backed with a beautiful, pure black and white video, the imagery the perfect compliment to the track which leaves you longing, desperate for more. Backed by little more than subtle drum pad beats and minimal, spacious synths it's Lisa's vocal that steals the show and has me hooked. It immediately makes me think of Prince's falsetto, not just any old Prince either, the Purple One at his 80's best, seducing with every note, whispered, extended words that make you fall hopelessly under their spell. I love the extended outro too, with a smouldering guitar that captures the feeling of the track, just bloody gorgeous.



2. Broken Twin - In Dreams

A true highlight of an extraordinay album, as intimate and arresting an experience as music can offer



1. Shura - Touch

effortlessly sexy / cool melody that swoons amongst soft-glittering electronics and Shura's luxurious vocal, its simple and refined and despite its lyrics of "I wanna touch you but it's too late, I wanna touch you but there's history..." is straight-up baby-making music.



Hands down track of the year so far. Go and give it your love. 550k+ plays, Wow!!

Sea Change #2 - Bridges

Facebook / seachange.no

Sea Change (aka Ellen Sundes) was one of my revelations at The Great Escape (and judging by the reviews I've read, many others too). Even as an act I'd blogged about before the festival I was taken aback by her live show, performing as a trio in a pitch black (and tiny) basement I saw as intense and chilly a set I've ever, extraordinarily dark, her (surprisingly) epic electronic soundscapes and bass guitar rhythms combined perfectly around her undeniably sweet, ethereal vocal. It was simply stunning.

Her latest track "Bridges" was released a couple of days before I departed for Brighton and with some distance from that performance the track still mesmerises, it starts relatively calm with ambient glitches, effects and spectral vocals immersing you within its hypnotic, dream-like state before spiraling to a searing finale of electronic noise, guitar and emotion. If you still haven't discovered Sea Change, now is your chance.

There's some Sea Change merch - including two 7" vinyls I didn't know existed and a complete live bootleg (free) to be had from the official store - here.

Photo Credit - Martijn Veenma


Sea Change - Let's Dance

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Next week I'll do my The Great Escape preview, I've not decided the basis of it yet but it will pretty much feature the acts I think you should go and watch. First up though, here's a discovery I made thanks to the line-up announcement's (with a head-tip to Giselle).

Sea Change is the Norwegian artist Ellen A. W. Sunde whom is now living in Berlin and her track "Let's Dance" (anything but a Bowie cover) is full of lush soundscapes and bewitching atmosphere that should go down nicely in a dimly lit sea-front basement, the slow-burn track grows from stark beginnings with a sublime melody rising from skittering electronics, vivid textures and Ellen's ethereal vocals. Her debut track "Bursting" is similarly blissful, expansive lo-fi pop, full of fluttering beats, natural space and calming warmth, the result is compelling and immersive. Perfect for those in need of a lonely Friday night (that would be me).

Sea Change has two dates listed for The Great Escape:
UNITARIAN CHURCH 9th May 2014 6:45pm - 7:15pm
GREEN DOOR STORE 9th May 2014 12:30pm - 1:00pm