THE 405 ALBUM REVIEW:
'A while ago I wrote the following press release for the SeaZora:
"From the beauty of fantasy film scores, the heritage of grass roots British ballads, the romance of European waltz, and the legends inspired by the natural world, comes one of London's most promising contemporary folk bands, The SeaZora. The sound that they produce is a symphony of blissful harmonising vocals, and delicate string and wind instruments, with enchanting percussion. Making what seems like a constant ode to the fields, the forests, the spirits and the land, the SeaZora summon a perfect chimera for every listener. Their forthcoming album, White Bear, embodies every value and inspiration that can be drawn from great stories and arrangements created by composers such as Joe Hisaishi, creator of the Studio Ghibli soundtracks, and small folk orchestras like Beirut. Artists of such talent bring together elements of many cultures and create some of the most endearing pieces of music known to man. The SeaZora follow this example and with their new release will make a movingly effective contribution to their scene."
Now that White Bear has been released, it backs up every claim that I've made in the statement. This first record of theirs shows all of their clear influences and muses made special by each performer's skilled musicianship and vocal capabilities. There is a recurring blissful effect on the album that can be most associated with the SeaZora, and that is the echo left in the wake of the groups' voices. It's this echo that wraps the album in an autumnal ambiance, linking the drum that bangs in 'Seraph's Plain', the flute and oboe that dance in 'The Trees Grant Life' and the piano that waltzes in 'Mon Ami'.
'Mon Ami' in particular is one of the most beautiful songs that I have heard this year. It is not just the contrast between the delicate, French female voice and the deep, English male voice that accentuates the romance of the song, but also the turns that the piano takes, which can place the listener in a Ghibli-esque world.
Considering it's the work of an unsigned, relatively unknown band (well, Robin Pecknold from Fleet Foxes did say they're rad), White Bear is a must listen. Easily overlooked amongst the many high caliber contemporary folk bands, it deserves our attention.
9/10' - Will Slater