There is a good argument for artists to take their time writing music; hone their sound and style, settle into their vision – basically find their feet. With that in mind, German trio Sea Moya must have hit some solid ground running. Having only started writing and producing six months ago, the outfit are now releasing their debut EP, Twins. Five tracks crafted with a mastery that in no way suggests that Sea Moya are new kids on the block.
With a brand of music that defies genre entirely, German trio Sea Moya have unleashed their debut EP Twins on the world.
Labelling themselves as a “beat trio”, Sea Moya are difficult to pinpoint in the freedom of their compositions. Drawing from a number of influences like chillwave, psych and krautrock, the instrumentation and arrangement across Twins defies a precise definition. In an almost painterly style, Sea Moya layer and arrange the soundscapes they create, illustrating highly visual influences. It seems like there is an almost synthetic approach to their writing.
The opening track Do It verges on a dance track with industrial tinged afro-beats and a funk inspired bass line. The overriding melody has an addictive hook, and a slightly hypnotic repetition and symmetry, which makes you want to move. But that isn’t quite what Do It seems to be about. Processed falsetto vocals are reminiscent of The Klaxons, and mostly impossible to make out, with the exception of the encouraging refrain “Do it!”. Sea Moya have already drawn comparisons to The Avalanches, which does come through on a nice use of dialogue on this track. Winding down, the funk rhythm dies away and everything becomes more lyrical, and psyched out. It’s an introduction that really sets the tone for Sea Moya’s eclectic style.
Both title track Twins and the first song released off the EP, Slow Down, feature a softer vocal in a Neo Soul style. These two also really show Sea Moya as the “beat trio” they describe themselves as. Leaning heavily on programmed beats and percussion, on Twins they play with the negative space around cuts and pauses. Layering in different sounds like a kind of montage, synths push through discordant runs and even drops in a fluttering flute line. Echoed in the flourishing synth intro to Slow Down, heartbeat drum pads and bass lines sit below an evocative but quite cold vocal “Hold me tight, I can’t feel it”. This a theme that runs throughout Sea Moya’s work; emotive lyrical content is delivered without any high emotion – very much in the Kraftwerk, German electro vein.
The group describe the thought behind Slow Down as “Like when you stand in Nepal in the Himalayas and look at huge snowy mountains with nice valleys in between and everything is just slow. You can calm down, take a break.” The ambition to paint aural pictures is very much evident throughout Twins, and particularly comes across in the tripped out Dinosaur Room. This one calls up sunlight sparkling on watery synths, slow beats and laid back vocals that have a new folk feel to them. A psyched out electric guitar drops in with a lazy purpose. Ambient samples and muted drum rolls draw a beach scene, there is also a real pastoral sound to the flute that comes in again.
Final track Golden is a bit of a hidden gem. More brooding than previous songs, there are touches of The Weeknd’s dark pop about this one. Bell like tones pervade across a bossa nova feel beat, bringing a haunting edge to the intro. Simple but gorgeous melodies are echoed in the vocal, an effective use of a vocoder enhances the sense of distance that Sea Moya lean towards with their lyrics. Stripping back from the rich layering on Dinosaur Room and Do It, Golden is effective with its sparse beat and a melancholic piano that skitters light touches throughout the track.
Even discounting the short amount of time in which Sea Moya have coalesced, Twins is an impressive debut release. With the group overseeing every aspect of writing, producing, mastering and mixing, their vision is clear – even if their music defies definition. A record that deepens with every listen, Twins paints a vivid and enticing picture of Sea Moya.[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/215813433″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]