ALBUM REVIEW: Seafret – Tell Me It’s Real

Every so often an album is brought to our attention which we might not have appreciated fully when it was initially released, but soon caught our attention and left us hooked. Seafret with Tell Me It’s Real is one of those albums; captivating, serene and simply stunning are just some words to sum up why we love this release so very much.

For all of you unaware of Seafret, this Bridlington duo comprises of Jack Sedman on vocal and multi-instrumentalist Harry Draper known for their effortless, chilled out sound without any surprises – just heartfelt efforts.

Opening track Missing sets the tone for the release both musically and lyrically, creating the start of a romantic journey which is going to bring twists and turns with lyrics “you give me something to live for/something to die for”. The climatic build up on this track stops your attention from wandering, almost bringing a sing-a-long friendly vibe with the delicate piano lines and layered guitar efforts. Give Me Something offers an almost acoustic edge with a twist of strings, providing a sense of tension within the melody. It has to be said that although it was released as the band’s debut single, compared to later efforts on this album it’s a weaker track. The spark that Seafret are known for seems to be dimmed here.

With a name like Wildfire we were expecting a vamped up track with a heavier kick, which is exactly what we get. Glistening through the clouds of heartbreak is the happy sunshine rays, the sunshine being the rays of light singing of a happier time when falling in love for the first time. Maintaining their signature downbeat twang, the focus point remains largely on Jack Sedman’s vocals. Breathe could potentially steal the crown for our favourite track on the release: delicate strings and heartfelt lyrics merge with a heavier, angstier kick with both acoustic and bass guitar lines complementing.

Oceans is featured in two forms on this release, one of which being a live BBC version of the well-loved track making you want nothing more than to see the guys live ASAP. Considering the title it’s expected to include the cliché lyric of “there’s oceans between you and me,” but due to the fact that there’s still such haunting power within this track we’ll gloss over that little slip-up. Piano additions soften the blow of a repetitive, power-infused percussion. Seamlessly fusing together this track is simple yet soothing to the soul, which sums up Seafret perfectly.

There’s one big issue with this release, which  follows it like a bad smell: the tracks by the midway point get a little too samey and hard to distinguish between. The title track suffers because of this, when we look at it as a standalone track the rawness and passion within Sedman’s vulnerable tones captivate, you transporting you to a distant rhythm filled paradise; but blended into the mix of many tracks made from the same formula it gets lost.

Be There and There’s A Light bring a bit of spice and heavy power to the release, which is just what we need when we’re hunting for some variation. Be There flaunts the boldest, unpredictable chorus on the release which you’ll find yourself clapping along to as the drum strikes appear. You’re going through a twisty adventure persuaded by Sedman to drive through the track as he reminds listeners “I can’t leave you” – don’t worry Seafret we definitely won’t be leaving you for the foreseeable future! There’s A Light oozse in indie goodness which is never a bad thing. Few bands can successfully pull off a track which focuses almost solely on raw vocals and mesmerizing guitar lines, yet Seafret do this with ease. Optimistic that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel we see a new approach to love and life focusing on the future, rather than the retrospectives of old relationships.

As the release draws to a close To The Sea sees the first duet of the release with Rosie Carney and maintains the water based theme. Verging on sickly sweet these vocals make you melt and do a little swoon, whilst complementing each other faultlessly. This is a vocal pairing that needs to make a return in the not so long future, as honestly? We’re hooked. Overtime brings the album to a close in the way that Seafret opened it: sharp, snappy and mixed with a hint of folk. “I could be more than a lover, more than a lover to you” pretty much sums up how we feel about this release. We don’t just want to listen to this as a one off,  we want it to be around for the long term and Seafret definitely will be.

Yes, there may be points in which the excessive focus on relationships drives you a little crazy, but the realness and unique lyrics featured make this a small tiny blip. Meaningful music sadly isn’t something we see in the bucketloads in this day and age, but Tell Me It’s Real makes every word sung feel really, really real.


Standout Tracks: Wildfire, Be There, Breathe

For Fans Of: Jason Mraz, Mumford and Sons, Elbow

Written By: Nicola Craig

Nicola Craig
Head of Live with an unwavering love for the seaside, live music and writing about others instead of myself. Twitter: @nicolalalalar