Last year, Heligoland released ‘All Your Ships Are White’, an album which attracted inevitable comparisons with the Cocteau Twins (partially helped by Robin Guthrie lending his production skills). Yet this was a record which relied less on euphoria and more an atmosphere of quiet despair.
Released on the same label as Heligoland, Sealight is a new project featuring Dave Olliffee on synths and guitars again. Furthermore, Guthrie produces too so those who are acquainted with Heligoland or, indeed, the Cocteau Twins mid-1980’s work will be on familiar territory here then.
‘Dead Letters’ is a subdued beginning with Sandra Rossini’s wounded bird of a voice combining with languid, glistening guitars. ‘When The Rain Starts’ is a quiet murmur of a song in keeping with the suggestion of its title. Perhaps a little too quiet. However, ‘The Moon’ is beautiful with Rossini controlling the melody as she promises to “mend my broken heart” but the doomed elegance of the song suggests she may not achieve this. The EP ends with ‘La Nieve’, which says farewell with some mournful trumpet.
If you like your music sad, graceful and understated then ‘Dead Letters’ serves its purpose. Its outlook may be bleak but the beautiful way it is presented makes this is an experience worth revisiting and if you can overlook Sealight’s music being very similar to Heligoland’s material then there’s nothing to worry about.
Heligoland, Cocteau Twins, The Plague Monkeys