Thursday, 16 February 2012

Sealight - Dead Letters

Dead Letters is the debut release from Franco-Australian three-piece, Sealight. Produced by Robin Guthrie and issued by Commission 45 (home to the wonderful Heligoland), it's little surprise that this is a five-track EP of some quality.

A highly reflective record, Dead Letters traces echoes of conversation through a lyric of familial memories and kindred correspondance. The result is an absorbing, highly personal collection of songs - deeply introspective but always warm.

Guthrie's hand is most in apparent in the title track, Dead Letters, where an organic finger-picked melody is immersed in a rush of tremolo and reverb. Glorious watercolour textures wash over the vocals of Sandra Rossini creating a tender, compelling piece of music.

Sealight produce songs of real craft. To label them ambient would somewhat miss the point. Take away the programming, the synth and the pedals and this is folk music in its purest form. It's delicate storytelling coupled with first-rate musicianship, and it's very, very good.

Sealight are Dave Oliffe (guitars, synths, drones), Marc-Aurèle Ngo Xuan (drums), Sandra Rossini (vocals, acoustic guitar, concertina).

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