Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only
(Run For Cover)
And your friends, are they dangerous?
And if they are, well how much?
Seahaven’s newest album probably isn’t what you expected.
This is a band known for touring with hardcore/pop-punk standbys like Touche Amore and Man Overboard. A band signed to Run For Cover Records, a label known for their generally loud sound. A band that has never shied away from blowing out speakers, filling basements with sound, and generally keeping it loud. And yet, on their newest album, Seahaven has stripped away the loudness that most have come to expect, and in the process, may have made the best record of their career.
Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only doesn’t misrepresent itself in the slightest, to be fair. From its fairly explicit album title to its cover art of figures looking out over an idyllic oceanic vista, you quickly get the feeling that this is an album to slow you down a little. Although Seahaven has been recording since 2009, when lead singer/songwriter Kyle Soto brought the group together, Lagoon feels almost like the kind of music they’ve been wanting to make for a very long time. Each track on the album seems perfect for summer listening, built with warmer climates in mind somehow. Album opener “Fifty Four” slowly gathers, using simple guitars, strings, and the sound of softly crashing waves to create a gorgeous tapestry of sound and establish the overall feel of the album very early.
A few tracks later, “Silhouette (Latin Skin)” hits this new sound out of the park. From Soto’s heartfelt vocals, to the crisp guitars that evoke post-rock and the strings scattered throughout, the song is a perfect example of what Seahaven has done on this new album. Kyle Soto’s vocals have always been key to their sound, but there is a full embrace of honesty the likes of which Seahaven has never tried before, and it succeeds massively.
This is an album that isn’t afraid to strip everything down and bare itself to the world, and that’s a very good thing. A great many of the songs, such as “Highway Blues” or “Solar Eclipse”, feel like the perfect soundtrack to a coastal road trip, using natural sounds along with instruments to create quietly beautiful songs that are built for long drives. Soto has spoken of being influenced by albums like Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange and Radiohead’s In Rainbows, and it’s not hard to see these influences in the album.
Despite the slower and quieter sound overall of the album, Seahaven still has a knack for using loud guitars and heavy riffs, as proved on tracks like “Flesh” and album closer “Four-Eleven”, which both perfectly balance the group’s new sound with its old habits. As “Four-Eleven” closes, the same sounds of crashing waves from the album’s first track creep back in, bringing about a closure and catharsis that a listener can’t help but appreciate.
If all of this sounds like the kind of thing you’d like to see live, you’re in luck: Seahaven will be stopping by the Uptown VFW on May 9th, 2014 with Adventures and Foxing for what promises to be an incredible show.
At a time when indie rock is possibly more self-involved and ironic than it’s ever been, there is something incredibly refreshing about an album like Reverie Lagoon. An album full of earnest emotion, one never feels that they are being lied to or winked at. This is an album that sits down with you and just talks about life a little, and that’s exactly what we need sometimes. Seahaven took a risk by trying a sound that so heavily deviated from their previously more post-hardcore efforts, but it’s more than paid off. It’s tough to know where the future will take them, but for now, Reverie Lagoon is an album to be listened to, loved, and lived alongside. Take it with you this summer. I promise, you’re not going to regret it.