If there’s one thing about the new Seahaven record that cannot be stressed enough, it’s that listeners should leave all expectations at the door. As for weathered Seahaven fans, a change of pace shouldn’t be a surprise. The band’s first post-hardcore/emo EP Ghost brought powerful, angsty tracks that paired shouting and growling with thudding guitars and drum fills. This signature style of the genre was quickly subdued by their first full-length release Winter Forever, which focused on a more developed form of post-punk emo. It still utilized the heavy sound, but it did so with a more honed technique with clean vocals and instrumental melodies. Given this diverse history, Seahaven’s latest Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only is a different animal entirely.
Escapism implies a psychological break away from reality and routine. This couldn’t fit any better with its main heading, Reverie Lagoon; not only does the album break the mold of any routine Seahaven had going, but its production and style will overtake you with dreamy and imaginative tones, with echoing reverb, and with calming vocal melodies. The album drifts in with the song “Fifty-Four,” which features a single, powerful guitar backed by an almost orchestral arrangement of drums and bass. Guitarist/vocalist Kyle Soto welcomes the listener, repeating, “Tell me you found your way home.” The sounds of splashing waves complement the glimmering ocean scene depicted on the album art. As the volume dims, the song comes to an eventual halt before the album proceeds with “Andreas,” a track solidifying this warm welcome. It’s opening line is an enticing offer: “Come with me, come with me, I’ll be your friend.”
As relaxed and inviting as this record seems, it is important to note that Seahaven is stressing personal introspection from their own point of view. When asked about this album, Soto remarked that all of his lyrics were written for himself; they are all very personal to him, and as a band they tried not to generalize the songs in any way. They preferred not to pander to an audience looking for an overarching and defined message.
With that being said, the band is by no means being selfish; they want their fans to plug in and embark on this musical journey together in the specific order they arranged it. “This is a record to be listened to with headphones, lying in bed, listened to all the way through,” Soto commented.
The record progresses through with somber, thought-provoking tracks, such as lead single “Silhouette (Latin Skin),” and reverb-filled pair “Paseo De Las Estrellas (I)” and “Paseo De Las Estrellas (II).”
The song that probably sticks out the most on this record is “Flesh,” which is the single Reverie Lagoon track they chose to incorporate in their live set this tour with Touche Amore. “Flesh” bears the same sort of distorted guitar and bouncy post-punk vocals as the songs on Winter Forever, functioning here as the track that ties Seahaven back to their previous two releases.
Reverie Lagoon lives up to its name as the perfect escape. And their stylistic evolution hasn’t hurt their fan base’s dedication whatsoever – a packed crowd extended out the door at Hollywood’s Origami Vinyl as the band played a special free acoustic album release set last Sunday. So do yourself a favor: set aside an 51 minutes, lie down, plug in and enjoy the away luxury with Seahaven’s Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only.
Article by Atreyue Ryken