A confident debut, but one in need of experimentation...
'Tell Me It's Real'

Hailing from Bridlington in Yorkshire, singer Jack Sedman and guitarist Harry Draper make music that appears to have been molded by their seaside setting. ‘Tell Me It’s Real’ is a soothing, atmospheric listen, with emotive lyrics and gentle guitar picking. It is however, a little repetitive and the beauty and delicacy of each individual track often loses its potential amongst the mass of same-sounding rhythms and strings.

Seafret have been garnering a huge fan base, with over ten million Spotify streams and have previously supported the likes of Hozier, Kodaline and James Bay. Similarities between those artists can definitely be noted on this album: ‘Breathe’ calls to mind Kodaline’s hopeful and moving romanticism with lyrics such as “you’re the one thing I believe in, when I lose faith in all I do”, and there’s a similar raw quality to both Sedman and Kodaline’s Steve Garrigan’s vocals. ‘Skimming Stones’ offers a little variety in its auto-tuned, echoing opening vocals that are reminiscent of Hozier’s experimental ballads, but the track then slips back into the gentle acoustic style that reflects ‘Tell Me It’s Real’ as a whole.

Highlights on the album include ‘To The Sea’ which features lyrics from Rosie Carney and proves to be a duet made in heaven. Carney and Sedman’s vocals compliment each other perfectly to create a bewitchingly beautiful cut. With a video featuring Game Of Thrones star Maisie Williams, ‘Oceans’ still remains a standout track on the LP. The live BBC version on the deluxe album edition further showcases the skill and emotion behind the simple and sparse arrangements that make the passion and feeling behind the lyrics really hit home. While ‘Over’ provides some upbeat relief with a folk, sing-along chorus and Mumford-style banjos to create a summery delight.

As standalone singles, perhaps more of the tracks on ‘Tell Me It’s Real’ would hold a greater emotional impact but nevertheless there are moments of real beauty on Seafret’s album. The sparse simplicity of the intricate guitar picking and emotive lyrics create a euphoric, wave-like quality to transport the listener to a seaside town and recall moments from troubled relationships to defiant declarations of love. To Seafret’s already large fan-base, ‘Tell Me It’s Real’ will deliver more of the delicate emotion that they love, however, for the undecided listener, a little more variation and experimentation wouldn’t go amiss.

5/10

Words: Ashleigh Grady

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