A powerful return, one dominated by precision and poise…
Everything Was Forever Artwork

Not every band can irk the hard right by simply deleting a single word from their name, but then not every band are (fka British) Sea Power. A group whose singular catalogue thirsts for the esoteric, they’ve amassed a personal mythology that includes a dancing bear, inter-war reference points, and some of the finest indie rock songwriting these fetid isles have spewed forth in an age.

‘Everything Was Forever’ is Sea Power’s first album in five years, and their first under a newly doctored moniker. Yet in many ways it’s a reconnection with their roots, with the central facets of the group’s sound and approach amplified, and made more apparent; a record driven by a definite sense of purpose, it manages to match Sea Power’s live heft to moments of complex studio beauty, aligning personal revelation with arcane lyrical reference points. Yes, they’re older, and no doubt wiser – but in hands of Sea Power but those are both crucial vantage points.

‘Scaring At The Sky’ is a lugubrious, spacious opener, the sound of a band learning to flex their muscles once more. The punchy one-two of ‘Transmitter’ and ‘Two Fingers’ however showcases Sea Power in full flight, a group whose Roger Bannister-esque dash towards the record books remains utterly refreshing.

‘Fire Escape In The Sea’ is dotted with Morse code guitar lines, a plaintive ode, one shrouded in an unaffected form of beauty. ‘Doppelganger’ meanwhile, is rather more animalistic, it’s endless rhythmic chug recontextualizing the infinite Krautrock pulse of Neu! for the Cumbrian fells.

As up-front and electric as much of the material on this record can be, Sea Power excel at encapsulating nuance. ‘Folly’ manages to be both sonically grand and highly intimate, while the feedback that opens ‘Green Goddess’ soon gives way to the kind of gushing indie rock waterfall the group have long since excelled at.

Closing with the quietly affirmative ‘We Only Want To Make You Happy’, this is a taut, precise return, the sound of a band working with the utmost confidence. A stint as award-winning soundtrack artists has no doubt enhanced Sea Power’s world-building capabilities, but if this record proves anything it’s that the simple act of emotional connect remains one of their dearest qualities. A wonderful, absorbing listen by a truly special group.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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