Sea Yarns is a musical project by Tavis MacLeod. He recently released Death of a Giant which is a four-song EP. He explains he wanted to create relevant surf music. Truth be told I listened to the four songs and explaining it as surf never entered into my mind. You could make a loose argument for it but I was thinking electronic and shoegaze more than anything else.
Recording-wise Macleod is recording everything digitally into his computer. The songs have a lot of high end and very little warmth which in turns makes it difficult to listen to loud without having your ears ring. The four songs felt more like vignettes that introduced a concept and sound.
Take for instance the opener “Creation and Flood,” he never deviates from the sound and energy he introduces. It’s hypnotic like a mantra but has the structure of an ambient song that repeats instead of a conventional song with verse, chorus and bridge. Imagine the band A Place to Bury Strangers decided to jam out on one riff for a couple of minutes.
“Song of Whales” is a very similar song in how to plays out. Besides removing the drums at one point the song repeats the initial riff. The song swims with superfluous amounts of reverb to where it’s very hard to make out the instrumentation. “Arrows” contains mechanical sounding percussion and delayed guitar while “The Last Bridge” has forward momentum to it.
MacLeod has talent and some good ideas but there is room for improvement in a number of areas. I would advise him to work with someone with knows more about engineering or do a little more homework in this area. Introducing more lower frequencies and using a low pass filter would help the overall sound. I would also encourage him to think about how he can expand on the initial idea he introduces. I felt like at least one significant transition would help the songs out.
I’m looking forward to hearing how his music evolves.
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