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Sea Change - 'Breakage'

by DavidBeech
DavidBeech
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on 11 February 2015 in Albums & EPs
Release date February 23rd 2015

With a name that references a much larger shift in herself, and not, in fact, the Beck album of the same name, Breakage is the debut LP from Norwegian musician Sea Change (otherwise known as Ellen A. W. Sunde) and sees her breaking out from beneath the blankets of self-imposed self-doubt that has plagued Sunde so doggedly on earlier musical endeavours.“I've spent so much time being too shy to show people my music or even actually write finished songs because of my own self-censorship. This whole Sea Change project is about letting go and just being comfortable in this space.”. And it shows. Over nine tracks Breakage reveals itself to be solemn and subtle record, underpinned by an overarching beauty and overt sincerity. And whilst many albums lend themselves to certain seasons, and even months, this is an album that absolutely lends itself to night-time listening. That doesn't mean to say that listening during the day won't reveal a wealth of fragile synth work and rich vocals, far from it, but the darkness that covers her native Norway throughout winter undeniably permeates Breakage too, resulting in a record built on pop-sensibility but finished with a tenebrosity that not only reiterates Sea Change's scandi-pop background, but also subverts it. As such, tracks like 'Fearless' or 'Stairs' are made for late- night journeys; the pulsating and mounting rhythms reflecting the momentum of a night bus or a late train. It's contemplative stuff, conjuring thoughts and emotions in a listener, seemingly out of nowhere. Given that, one would be forgiven for assuming that Breakage is a record that meanders to its conclusion, mulling over each individual track (and the narratives therein) before moving on to the next. That isn't the case, as track flows seamlessly in to the next, creating a rich soundscape of shifting textures and moods. If this is what winter blues sounds like, then I don't ever want to hear happy again.

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