ALBUM: Sea Change – ‘Inside’

Peel away your inhibitions and join Norwegian electronic artist Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde) as she navigates a personal metamorphosis via club inspired beats on her new album, Inside. Alongside co-producer and mixer Andrew Murray, Sunde has crafted seven ethereal, supremely catchy tracks that make her sound like she could be the introverted distant relation of Fever Ray.

Eponymous track ‘Inside’ has a brief duration, but in the space of two minutes Sunde outlines the direction of her album. Sparse synth sounds and hyper-conscious, introverted lyrics – “Come with me inside / my skin feels too tight” – alert listeners to the beginning of her journey towards breaking out of her shell. This idea is taken to a different level on following track, ‘Stepping Out’. Through a fusion of disjointed beats and atmospheric synth textures, Sunde navigates the idea of transforming into an animal.

“Let me possess you / Let me destroy you” she delicately threatens on ‘Something Else’, a captivating four minute soundscape full of altruistic synth patterns and a blend of soft, then reverb-strewn vocals. This quiet anger permeates following track ‘Scratch That Itch’. The percussive click that fills the opening feels like a subtle nod to the itch in the song’s title. Sunde softly sings “I have a white hot anger / I’m slowly setting it free” over mellow synth textures and looping beats that sit in contrast to to emotion she’s expressing. This contradiction in sound and lyricism is what makes Sunde’s music so compelling.

The intimate ‘What Makes’ is truly intoxicating. “I wear my body inside out for you” she muses, over drifting beats and ambient synths. ‘The Bed’ is an equally emotive lament about the “skin and dirt” that sullies the sheets and the memories of stale love. Closing track ‘Flown’ is a breath of fresh air, a four minute rumination on freedom and letting go.

“When I made this record I tried to channel the same state of mind I have when I go clubbing” Sunde explains. “Not overthinking everything, like I usually do, but instead embracing my impulses; working intuitively, almost anti-intellectual.” Her decision to work this way has resulted in a genuinely impressive collection of instinctive, immensely enjoyable soundscapes that can fill busy dancefloors, or private moments of introspection in dimly lit bedrooms. Listen below…

Photo credit: Fotini Chora

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PLAYLIST: November 2019

The shift from autumn to winter has been abrupt this year, and if our eclectic track choices are anything to go by; the lack of vitamin D has clearly hit us hard. From moody electronics, to upbeat bedroom bangers, to experimental soundscapes – we’ve got it all on our November playlist. Take some time to scroll through our track choices below, and make sure you hit play on the Spotify playlist link at the end of the page…

 

Catbear – ‘Unrequited Love’
‘Unrequited Love’ is the second single from Catbear, and what a tune! Fully home-recorded, self-produced, and with a heavy helping of synths. In their own words Catbear say: “We make music for the enjoyment of it. We are two good friends that love each other and we love making music together. There is no other agenda. And with that attitude we want to inspire young women and LGBTQ people like us to not only go form a band, but to take control over every aspect of their music. You can be a guitarist, you can be a drummer. You can make beats, you can record and produce your own music. You can be anything.” (Tash Walker)

HAVVK – ‘Operate’
The new single from long term faves HAVVK, ‘Operate’ is about getting caught up in the pressures of everyday life, and how this can effect your health and relationships. Filled with twinkling hooks and front woman Julie’s soaring celestial vocals, it’s a captivating creation filled with stirring emotion. Of the track, Julie explains: “There’s been a massive culture-shift towards measuring our happiness by productivity. Our digital lives mean that there’s always something we can be achieving and we have fewer obvious moments to switch off and connect with ourselves or the humans around us.” ‘Operate’ is out now via Veta Records, and will be followed by  HAVVK’s debut album, Cause & Effect, on 22nd November. (Mari Lane)

Le Butcherettes – ‘Tunisia’
Teri Gender bender opens this song with the lyrics “I’ve been masturbating thinking of no-one at all / and you make think that it is selfish of me / but I am no one at all” and I just want to applaud her for such an unexpected, celebratory few lines. ‘Tunisia’ is so funky, so catchy, and I’m so excited to hear the band’s new EP, Don’t Bleed, in February 2020. (Kate Crudgington)

Sea Change – ‘Scratch That Itch’
Norwegian artist Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde) navigates personal metamorphosis on her new album, Inside, which this track is taken from. Sunde softly sings “I have a white hot anger / I’m slowly setting it free” over mellow synth textures and looping beats that sit in contrast to to emotion she’s expressing. This contradiction in sound and lyricism is what makes Sea Change’s music so compelling, and I’ve had her album on repeat since its release on the 15th. (KC)

Despicable Zee – ‘Counting Cars’
Despicable Zee is an Oxford based musician, composer and performer. I am so very into this track of hers, ‘Counting Cars’. I cannot get enough of the samples and composition – so so good! Despicable Zee aka Zahra is also the director of the Young Women’s Music Project working alongside and guiding young female musicians. Her third EP, Atigheh, is self-produced and independently released, and she will be hitting New Rvier Studios in London on December 8th. I’ll be there, join me. (TW)

ESYA – ‘Blue Orchid’
“I only came here for the meat” broods ESYA (Ayse Hassan of Savages/Kite Base/180db) on her latest track ‘Blue Orchid’, lifted from her new EP Absurdity of ATCG (II) – Emergent Form. Filled with buzzing synth textures, direct vocals and pummeling beats; the song fleshes out the absurdities of our relationships and interactions with each other. We can’t wait for ESYA to headline our next gig at Notting Hill Arts Club on Sat 30th November. Tickets are available on DICE, and you can find all the event info here. (KC)

JFDR – ‘Taking A Part of Me’
I’m highlighting one of my Icelandic loves on this list, JFDR, who is a prolific songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, who we’ve supported at GIHE before as a part of her other project Samaris. ‘Taking A Part of Me’ is the first new material to be taken from her forthcoming album set for release in 2020, in conjunction with a gig at St Pancras Old Church on 30th January. Hauntingly perfect. (TW)

Pallas Athene – ‘Through Hell’
One of my favourite songs of the month, ‘Through Hell’ by Pallas Athene, taken from their debut self-titled EP. Exploring themes of man vs machine and the dissolution of self, this is the latest single from the EP which I’m so into – its spaced out vocals and calming chords – keep up the great work! Looking forward to the future of Pallas Athene. (TW)

Memphis LK – ‘Roses’
This track has been buzzing around my head over the last couple of weeks. It comes from Melbourne-based Memphis LK, described as a “spirited bass-pop on a bed of dystopian electro” – in other words ‘Roses’. (TW)

Shea Diamond – ‘I Am Her’
As early as transgender singer Shea Diamond can remember, she identified as a girl, and was punished for it. “I got whoopings for walking like a girl, for using the restroom sitting down like a girl,” says Diamond today. Written whilst Diamond was incarcerated in various men’s correctional facilities between 1999 and 2009, ‘I Am Her’ is a poignant offering oozing an infectious funk-filled groove. With last week being Trans Awareness Week, I wanted to bring everyone’s attention back to this soulful anthem of self-realisation. (ML)

Brix & The Extricated – ‘Wolves’
The latest single from Brix Smith Start (of The Fall) and her awesome band Brix & The Extricated. ‘Wolves’ reflects on pack mentality and the freedom to show your scars. Oozing eerie undertones alongside the impassioned grit of Smith Start’s vocals, it’s filled with searing hooks and a  powerful grunge-tinged energy. Brix & The Extricated’s album, Super Blood Wolf Moon, is out now. (ML)

Captain Handsome – ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’
The debut single from Captain Handsome (aka Lily from faves Fightmilk), ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ is a poignant exploration of every-day anxieties. With a twinkling lo-fi scuzz alongside the sensitivity of Lily’s refreshingly honest and consistently relatable lyricism, it’s a slice of effervescent indie-pop that tugs at the heartstrings in all the right ways. ‘I Wish I Had A Dog’ is out now via Reckless Yes, and is taken from Captain Handsome’s upcoming EP, set for release in early 2020. (ML)

Siv Disa – ‘Moths’
The new single from New York based artist Siv Disa, ‘Moths’ is a poignant reflection on the captivity of love. Propelled by eerie, atmospheric hooks, ‘Moths’ showcases Disa’s soaring raw vocals alongside a spellbinding majesty. ‘Moths’ is out now via Trapped Animal Records. (ML)

Anne Müller – ‘Drifting Circles’
An epic seven minute instrumental from Berlin-based cellist and composer Anne Müller. ‘Drifting Circles’ is lifted from her highly anticipated debut solo album Heliopause, which is set for release on 29th November via Erased Tapes. I love Müller’s blend of frantic yet soothing strings, and feel like they would still captivate me even if the track was double its duration. (KC)

Tears|Ov – ‘All Else Is Bondage (for A.)’
Founded in 2015, Tears|Ov are a queer arts and LGBTQI+ trio. Formed of sound artist/musician Lori E Allen, cellist/mixed media artist Katie Spafford and illustrator/prison psychotherapist Deborah Wale; their sounds are experimental, unusual, and always engaging. Their latest album, A Hopeless Place, was initiated by award-winning photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, who asked them to perform at Tate Modern’s South Tanks for his retrospective back in 2017. A Hopeless Place is out now. (KC)

Katie Gately – ‘Bracer’
Brace yourselves for ten minutes of poignant, eerie electronic sounds from Producer Katie Gately. This single is taken from her second album, Loom, which is set for release on 14th February via Houndstooth. The record is dedicated to Katie’s mother, who passed away in 2018 due to a rare form of cancer. Her shifting stages of grief have informed her sparse, yet seismic soundscapes. Not for the faint-hearted. (KC)

FIVE FAVOURITES: Sea Change

Norwegian newcomer Sea Change is skilled at crafting atmospheric, transformative, electronic sounds. She’s set to release her new album INSIDE on 15th November, and if recent singles ‘Stepping Out’ and ‘Flown’ are anything to go by, it’ll be filled with intriguing synth textures, longing vocals, and irresistible lo-fi beats. 

Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde) wrote her new album after she relocated to Berlin, and during her many trips back and forth to LA; resulting in seven tracks that meander through intimate and stimulating personal territories.

We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Ellen to ask her about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that have influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to listen to her latest track ‘Flown’ at the end of this post.

 

1. PJ Harvey – Is This Desire / 4-Track Demos
Discovering PJ Harvey at 16 made my whole world turn around. Before that, I loved music and I knew that I needed to do music myself, but I’d never heard anything by a female voice or musician that I loved with all my heart (how sad is that !?). But then I discovered PJ Harvey and the way she sang and made her music was so gut wrenching and vulnerable and beautiful and horrible at the same time; I realized that I don’t have to sing in a pretty voice to make music. When I heard Is This Desire, it was like – yes – this is the music I’m gonna make. Everything kind of fell into place when I discovered her. She taught me that being raw and honest is what makes amazing art. She has a special place in my heart.

2. Sidsel Endresen & Bugge Wesseltoft – Duplex Ride / Out There. In There.
At 18 I started to discover more and more experimental music and in Norway. There’s an amazing improv and jazz scene. I discovered Sidsel Endresen which is an experimental jazz singer. I think the way she uses silence and minimalism in her music is incredible. She is an amazing improviser, it’s super intuitive. In her music there’s nothing of that showing off-virtuosity you can often find in jazz music, but it’s actually something that comes from her heart. And I think she also taught me to not give a crap about what other people think, and to do your own thing. Her lyrics are also utterly beautiful.

3. Arthur Russell – World Of Echo
Arthur Russel makes the perfect blend of club music/disco/experimental and vulnerability. He has something that I can’t explain. His music and lyricism is so naive and beautiful in it’s simplicity, and I love that it’s electronic music but it has this off-kilter and strange vibe. It sounds like he is improvising and jamming by himself in his living room, and it’s so rare to listen to electronic music that is so unperfected. His songs don’t really have one proper studio version, they have about 10 different ones that make his artistry so utterly interesting. He has a mixture of authority, intuition and vulnerability in his music that I will always strive after, ‘cos its so explosive in an artist. I recently heard that he will be releasing a new mix of unreleased songs/demos on the 15th of November (the same day I’m releasing my record!) and I can’t wait to listen.

4. Noise/Improv/Lasse Marhaug/Noxakt/Kevin Drumm
I need to put in this on the list but it’s more of a state of mind/genre than albums or tracks. Most of this music I’ve experienced live. When I moved to Oslo at 19 I started to go to improv and noise concerts. Oslo has an amazing experimental scene and it was really cool to be able to go to so many shows that were so well curated. There’s a rawness and punk atmosphere to this music that I love, and to be able to just close my eyes and dive into a world of raw sound is incredible. This was also at the same time I started making music myself. When I started playing live I usually had parts in the live sets that were ambient and drone like (it’s surprisingly hard to make something that actually sounds good). This music is best to experience live. I think it awakes something primal in me, and I’m really happy I went through this musical phase cos it taught me so much about what music can be and that it has no limits!

5. Fever Ray – Plunge
I’m such a huge fan of Fever Ray, it’s kind of embarrassing. When she all of the sudden dropped PLUNGE in 2017 I was listening to the record over and over for days. I can’t remember last time I had this obsession with a record, since I was in my teens I guess, and that is the most amazing feeling. I love what she’s challenging both musically and lyrically. There was a music journalist that wrote that this record was like jumping into cold water, and I really love that allegory. This record hit me in the chest and I think it came at a time in my life when I really needed it and it also influenced my newest record a lot. I love how she blends club music, pop music and listening music and makes her own breed of art with her explosive visual narrative. She is a HUGE inspiration!

I saw her live recently and she had a seven piece band with only female musicians, and I remember how shocked I was with how shocked I was. How have I never seen that before!? And that made me realize that hell, from now on I’m only gonna have female musicians on stage. Her first record was amazing and Its still a piece of art that stands steady as a rock, and I find myself going back to it over and over again.

Thanks to Ellen for sharing her favourites with us.

Follow Sea Change on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Fotini Chora

Track Of The Day: Sea Change – ‘Stepping Out’

An electronic exploration of an ambiguous metamorphosis; Norwegian artist Sea Change has shared her latest single ‘Stepping Out’. It’s taken from her new album INSIDE, which is set for release on 15th November.

Through a fusion of disjointed beats and atmospheric synth textures, Sea Change (aka Ellen Sunde) navigates her ideas about transforming into an animal on her new single. The track was written after she relocated to Berlin, and during her many trips to LA, which resulted in the seven tracks that make up her new album.

Following on from 2015’s Breakage LP, new record INSIDE focuses on what happens when Sunde swaps over-thinking for living in the moment. She explains further: “When I made this record I tried to channel the same state of mind I have when I go clubbing – not overthinking everything, like I usually do, but instead embracing my impulses; working intuitively, almost anti-intellectual. I learned that that’s where I am able to get to the core of what I need to express and that I just had to trust those decisions”.

Let your own inhibitions go by listening to ‘Stepping Out’ below, and follow Sea Change on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut