Welsh noise-poppers, Seazoo, first emerged back in 2018, with their acclaimed debut album, Trunks. The album saw the band nominated for the prestigious Welsh Music Prize, against far bigger names like Gruffy Rhys, Gwenno and The Manic Street Preachers. Since then the band have combined touring with work on their second album, JOY, which emerged last Friday on the band’s own Big Terry label. Most of the work on the album took place in the increasingly vital Big Jelly Studios in Ramsgate, working with producers Ben Trow and Mikey Collins, the former Allo Darlin’ drummer, turned producer for Pip Blom and Girl Ray. Recorded six hours travel from their base in North Wales, the sessions were laced with a feeling of escapism and a break from the norm, giving the band a fresh approach that’s so audible on JOY.
In many ways Seazoo are a classically Welsh proposition, a perfect fusion of melodic pop and a suitable dose of the weird and wonderful. Their sound is one that fits perfectly into a natural lineage from Super Furry Animals through to more contemporary acts like Adwaith or Sweet Baboo. JOY is a record that in many ways lives up to its title, it’s an almost deliberate antithesis to the world it was created in, an attempt to find hope and appreciation for the good things, no matter what the world throws your way. Musically, JOY is a coherent collection, a band finding a sound that works for them, channeling influences from Yo La Tengo to The Go! Team. That is not to say it is a record without highlights; opening track, The Pleasure, is a rambunctious slice of sunny indie-pop, Honey Bee casts a knowing nod to The Divine Comedy, while Heading Out adds a slacker rock bounce Savage Mansion would be proud of. JOY is a record for our times, a reminder that when things seem difficult, we can react with positivity and hope, whatever happens, joy will find a way.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Seazoo?
We’re a pretty nice bunch from North Wales playing wizard-pop songs.
Ben (lead vocals, guitar) Dan (guitar) Steffan (drums) Llinos (keys) and Mike (bass)
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
It was a pretty good first show! We supported Gulp at Llangollen Fringe Festival. I (Ben) am a massive SFA fan so went into proper fan-boy mode meeting Guto. We were really lucky to be asked, it was pretty daunting!
We never really intended to be a full live band, but when we got asked to play this we got the band together!
It’s grown from there really.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Well it’s the art form that comes naturally to me I guess (Ben). I did art in college and like photography but playing music is much more a social activity. I’ve met some of my closest friends through doing this and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
FTR: What can people expect from the Seazoo live show?
Fun, energy and sweet tunes.
FTR: What’s next for Seazoo?
Well, it’s a funny time to have a record out!
We had a UK tour planned to coincide with the album release, we’d put so much work into all this coming together, like loads other bands in a similar position, but we’ll rearrange the shows and hopefully people will be a bit more familiar with the songs by then too.
I’m writing every day now so hopefully be back in the studio before the end of the year.
They Listen To…
Smog – Held
Julia Jacklin – Body
Mr Ben and The Bens – How We Used To Write
Bitw – Gad i mi gribo dy wallt
Aldous Harding – Fixture Picture
JOY is out now via Big Terry. Click HERE for more information on Seazoo.