Despite its sometime brutal sonic palette and kick in the crotch production values, this is a famously melodic album, with lovely drifting melodies.
Ok. Let’s just cut straight to the chase. Leeds duo Kamikaze Girls have possibly – quite probably – delivered my album of the year. And it’s still May (just barely). Here’s why:
Despite its sometime brutal sonic palette and kick in the crotch production values, this is a famously melodic album, with lovely drifting melodies, for instance Lights and Sounds and Unhealthy Love, and lyrically so honest and on the money – “Grab my waist one more time and I’ll knock your fucking lights out” (taken from the wonderfully titled KG Goes To The Pub”). It’s powerful stuff that resonates of past glories from bands such as Sugar, Husker Du and the present DIY Punk cabal.
Vocalist and guitarist Livingstone and drummer Conor Dawson are clearly highly proficient in putting the pedal to the floor. Check out the exhilarating tracks Berlin and Deathcap. But the duo also show another side to their songwriting sensibilities – for example the plaintive Don’t Be Sad Forever, where Livingstone addresses her demands for a better society with a stomach churning honesty: “We don’t need segregation, we need solidarity”.
It was fitting that I first listened to this album during the UK’s Mental Awareness Week, as this misunderstood and under-reported area of health provides an emotional touchstone to the compositions lyrical content and themes. And these aren’t just feelings that are just the sanctuary of a certain demographic – for instance the excellent Teenage Feelings – but are universal, and we all can, and probably will, be affected at one time or another by mental health issues. The turbulence of the sea’s waves leaves a residual seafoam; acute emotional turmoil leaves its mark as the immediacy fades. The metaphor of the album title is very apt.
Seafoam is an emotional roller coaster of an album. It holds a mirror up to the psyche of modern life, to our hopes and fears, and the stresses that are imposed on the existential self. And it turns that reflection into Art. And that’s why Seafoam is so good. It’s art.
The album drops June 9th and there’s actually not yet that much for you to stream online. The video for the single ‘Berlin’ will have to whet your palette for now.