Here at storge we like a bit of a mystery. A blog dedicated to artists from our area is often in danger of repeating itself as Derby and Derbyshire can feel quite a small place at times, and so we often find ourselves writing about the same bands quite a lot. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s nice to be sent something new, especially something as new and mysterious as SeiSui.
Mysterious? As we said when we tipped this band in our ‘five exciting new Derby bands for 2017’ piece last week there isn’t much known about them yet but we couldn’t resist writing a bit more anyway. The email informing us of the release was enigmatically empty and divulged nothing about the band – if that’s what they are – and it doesn’t appear they’ve played live anywhere yet.
They seem to be a two piece, but hint at other guest musicians being involved. Even the names seem like they must be nom-de-plumes and the biog on their bandcamp page simply says: “SeiSui are a post-rock nu-gaze experimental duo. Marlowe plays most of the instruments and does some of the voices, while Decca supplies words, voice and other soundscapes. Sometimes we invite other artists to contribute.”
A single track, A Toast To All Our Ships At Sea, appeared on New Year’s Day with a hint that more are on their way and it landed in our inbox on exactly the same day. A clever move on their part as Derby’s scene seemed quiet that day – presumably everyone else was nursing New Year hangovers.
But what does it sound like? It’s different. Layered and textured warping guitars merge with samples of what sounds like short wave radio broadcasts to create an eery atmosphere. It’s spoken word. I don’t normally like this type of thing, it often seems somehow up its own arse, but this works – a husky female voice speaks lyrics that are a crossed between Coleridge’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner‘ poem and the shipping forecast on Radio 4. I can’t help thinking it’s all totally intentional as the bending guitars seem to evoke the ebb and flow of the tide in a complimentary way.
It’s barely a song and vocally – it’s evocative of the ’70’s New York art rock of Laurie Anderson but also firmly rooted in the quintessentially British experimental shoegaze sound of the early ’90’s currently enjoying a healthy revival.
It’s distilled My Bloody Valentine with a hint of Cocteau Twins and we love it.