Review: Seabright – Shimmer

Straddling the worlds of dreampop, electronica and 1960’s experimentalism, Seabright is the solo project of California’s Justin Morales. The label on which he finds home is even called ‘Lazy Calm Records’; proof as ever that the Cocteau Twins remain an enduring influence. Yet ‘Shimmer’ has more in common with the retro-futurist movement.

‘My Deepest Instincts’ opens up the record with an explosion of tremulous keyboard textures. It’s fair to say that Morales is not a dominant present behind the mic but – rather like Lawrence from 1980’s indie favorites Felt – his vocals are emotionally driven and full of the required melancholic ache to suit the consistently melodic layered approach.

‘Solid State’, ‘Sideline’ and gorgeous finale ‘I Am Going’  capture the vintage approach of Stereolab with glorious slabs of analog noise and easy listening arrangements to the fore. Meanwhile, ‘Rachel And Ryo’ and ‘Chris’ are infused with sadness and ‘Integration’ sticks closely to a motorik Krautrock groove.  To balance the good with the not so good, however, there a few other tracks which sound so carefully processed that they lose the power to move the listener.

As previously mentioned, whilst Stereolab are an undoubted influence, Seabright keeps his tracks very concise and to the point, so there’s never a danger of his music outstaying its welcome. The only failing is that there are a few occasions when this approach can come across as rather cold and calculated.

Web Sites:
Seabright MySpace

Further Listening:
Stereolab, M83, Ulrich Schnauss, Kraftwerk

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