Monday’s Long Song

Since posting Rainbow Sun by Seahawks in the middle of August I’ve been digging around their back catalogue, acquiring a 2016 album (Escape Hatch), some Prins Thomas remixes and a remix compilation called Deep Haul. Ecsape Hatch is a dreamy piece of work, ten songs that seem to be centred around the ebb and flow of Mediterranean with rhythms that occasionally make it to house music tempo but are usually much slower, saxophones drifting in from Bladerunner, piano and guitars lost in a haze of FX, lots of texture and sheen. Very easy to put on and then lose yourself in. Starways is just shy of twelve minutes long and is an excellent way to start the working week.

Starways

Rainbow Sun Electricity

I went back to this 2014 album recently and it fits into my current listening palette really well- Paradise Freaks by Seahawks. Opener Rainbow Sun, with guest vocalist Maria Minerva, is a beauty, fading in on wash of sounds and a synth part. When Maria’s voice comes in over a bouncing synth bassline it’s like the clouds parting and the sun breaking through.

Rainbow Sun

The rest of the album is lovely too, songs with titles about the sea, drifting, the moon, harbours and waterfalls, all filtered through an electronic haze, with live instruments from some of Hot Chip and production from Tom Furse of The Horrors plus guest vocals from Tim Burgess and Indra of Peaking Lights. Paradise Freaks works as an album too, a fifty minute drift, some tracks structured as proper songs and some textured, open ended soundscapes to wash over you.

Escape Hatch

An escape hatch is exactly what this 2016 track by Seahawks is, a combination of white noise and lush melodies that swirl about until the bongo and piano hit at around a minute in. After that, it’s another seven minutes of bliss. Even the saxophone, an instrument I can often do without, is a joy.

Look At The Sun

This is just the sort of thing for a Sunday morning, a blissed out, sun drenched song from Seahawks with Tim Burgess on vocals. When I first saw The Charlatans at a tiny venue in 1989 doing Indian Rope I wouldn’t have put much money on Tim Burgess still being around twenty-five years later but here he is, a survivor as has been said many times before, and doing stuff that is much better than many of his contemporaries are currently doing.

Video here, it won’t embed.

The Seahawks album is out in September, which might be a little too late to do much looking at the sun. Mind you, we spent two weeks in the Loire valley in August and we didn’t see too much sun there. This was the view from our tent more than once. Our neighbours were flooded out and started digging a levee before they were moved.

When the sun did come out it was lovely- this is the Medieval bridge at Beaugency. The Loire valley is beautiful and we met lots of very nice people on the campsite. French roads are amazing for cycling on- great condition, little traffic and motorists that don’t try to run you off the road. It’s just good to be away from home sometimes, especially when the wine, cheese and bread are so cheap.

The Loire valley is beautiful and we met lots of very nice people on the campsite. French roads are amazing for cycling on- great condition, little traffic and motorists that don’t try to run you off the road. It’s just good to be away from home sometimes, especially when the wine, cheese and bread are so cheap. We found the time to do a bit of exploring. This is Grande Pierre, a menhir in a farmer’s corn field in the middle of nowhere, north of Blois. Not everyone in our party got on the prehistoric tip. Our eldest refused to get out of the car to look at it and child number two was fairly unimpressed. ‘It’s just a stone in a field’.

And this is Special Sport, my favourite shop in the village of Mer. In France the shops open at about 9.30 and stay open as late as midday. Then everyone shuts up shop and takes a two and a half hour lunch break before ambling back to work at around three, going through until about half six. No-one looks particularly stressed out,, no-one rushes anywhere, things get done eventually. I think they may be onto something. Although I’m not sure Special Sport has survived the recession.

 

Oh No He Loves Us

Tim Burgess’ still-really-good-sounding album from last year Oh No! I Love You, co-written and recorded with Kurt Wagner from Lambchop, has already had some remixes released. I posted the Factory Floor and Andy Votel ones and there was a Django Django one I might have done too. Memory fails me at times. There are a few more just floating about the internet at the moment, and cos Tim loves us, they’re free downloads. I’m still trying to convince people that Tim’s solo album is worth their time- go on, give it a go.

Seahawks have done this slow, stately, ambientish one which hangs around very pleasantly for eleven minutes plus. Anton Newcombe from top underground rockers Brian Jonestown Massacre has done two, one of which- The Doors Of Then- is here. It is on a psychedelic tip.