Album Review: Seafret – Tell Me It’s Real

Tell Me It’s Real

seafret tell me it's real Released January 29th 2016

Words: Nick Jacques

Seafret are a duo made up of Harry Draper (Acoustic guitar) and Jack Sedman (Vocals) from the pleasant seaside town of Bridlington, Yorkshire. They have been writing and composing their own music since 2010 and were signed in 2012 to B-Unique records, also home to artists such as James Bay and Kodaline. Since then they have been harnessing their qualities and have managed to produce a stunning debut album Tell Me It’s Real with Steven Robson (Lilly Allen, James Morrison & Take That) at the controls.

You can envisage Bridlington’s characteristics in Seafret’s music; open and calm with its emotive undercurrents rounded off with sweeping soundscapes. Tell Me It’s Real is an absolute treat for the ears. It’s an album that oozes with compelling acoustic ballads and expansive, gorgeous arrangements that make for a truly immersive experience. One which pulls at those heartstrings and makes you want to forget all your worries and sail off into the sunset. Opening track Missing is an uplifting, call-to-arms song. Its message is relatable and immediately grabs the listener’s attention which builds and builds to a great climax.

Tracks like Oceans and Breathe have an authentic climatic quality, expertly executed with breezy vocals and lashings of thoughtful acoustic strumming. These are the 2 essential ingredients that make up the album. Shimmering atmospherics also swim in and out of the album giving it both substance and depth. Album highlight for me is There’s A Light. It’s soul-stirring anthem that is guaranteed to get you swaying and preach to the skies simultaneously.

Another stand-out track is To The Sea featuring Rosie Carney. Both of their vocals complement each other beautifully in this moving acoustic number. Sedman’s acapella vocals swoon overhead and then Carney’s vocals add a natural earthiness, giving it a well-rounded refined shape. Carney’s vocal is another great ingredient on show here, even if it’s only for 1 song, it’s a wise move to include her because it works so well as a duet.

Jack Sedman’s vocals, particularly on Out Of Nowhere and Overtime, show both a maturity and dexterity that many other performers would undoubtedly be impressed with. You can hear that Jack is using his voice to its advantage, and enjoying it too. His voice is a potent weapon that displays a poetic charm throughout on this album.

Lyrically, the album is uplifting. The premise is simple but effective; soul-searching and coming-of-age themes balanced evenly with heart-break, love and redemption. On the opening song, Missing, Sedman expresses his intentions with arresting effect: “Reflections in water help to clear my mind/stretching out before me to the other side/we didn’t get the chance to say goodbye/give me something to live for, something to die for.”

I also find that this works well on Breathe. It’s a confessional and life-affirming lament which Sedman sings: “I’ll never let the heartbeat fall/ no matter how far it goes/ you will always be where I belong” It’s a short but never the less impressionistic passage on this epic debut from Seafret.

Skimming Stones has a sense of longing to return home and be safe from the dangers in the world. It works well with the addition of a background quire supporting the chorus. Some of the strong points on Tell Me It’s Real are the additional touches dispersed throughout. The moody beginning on opener Missing, the shimmering guitar plucking on There’s A Light, the moving string arrangements on Breathe, the accompanying banjo plucking on Over, Sedman’s singing on Wildfire, the serene ending on Atlantis and the exceptional guitar strumming on album closer Overtime. This is an album full of subtle depths and hidden gems. The band also offer the listener to hear what they sound like live with a version of Oceans. The bridge between the verse and chorus is performed with aplomb.

Seafret have created a debut album in Tell Me It’s Real that is crammed full of hope and promise which I’m sure they will develop further on their next effort.

Watch the video for Atlantis here:

 

 

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