Hamburg duo Seasurfer have released an extraordinary double album called ‘Zombies’, packed full of stupendous anthemic dream pop songs that are differentiated from the pack by an electronic spine and dark-tinged gothic attack. Singer Apolonia’s voice is absolutely ethereal and angelic – creating a tension between her dulcet, soaring, velvet tones and the electronic thrumming drive that pulsates throughout.
Seasurfer is mostly the creation of Dirk Night who has worked in the past with a collective of musicians (including, in the past, Robyn Guthrie from Cocteau Twins) and Zombies is wholly his own doing – instruments and production. Knight says of Seasurfer:
…our sound is more a kind of darker noise pop today. Still with tons of effects and wall of sound, but driven by bass lines and electronic beats. For the first time I produced all instruments, guitars, synthies, bass, drum programming and mixing by myself. And I was happy that songstress Apolonia let me get it all done and gave me her vocals, which worked so well with the sound and given inspiration.
This is dream pop with vampire teeth – a velvet glove covering a steel fist – that careers along with intent.
Opening track and first single SOS gives you a taste of what to expect – scything synths and a throbbing rhythm section set a frenetic pace with Apolonia’s mysterious and enigmatic vocals proving an arctic chill to the instrumental furnace burning below:
Second single and title track ‘Zombies’ gently applies the brakes but nevertheless has a haunting drive to it: the synths are a distant wall providing a backdrop to the insistent rhythms with the enigmatic arctic vocals floating across like a wisp of wind.
Night says of the track:
Zombies’…recording and mixing was mostly completed during the Covid-19 lockdown in spring 2020. So the pandemic situation surely had an impact as we felt remotely controlled by a virus that suddenly rules our lives – somehow controlled like zombies. Musically, the song contains everything that defines our album. Morbid, spherical vocals, space guitars, electronic beats and a driving bass We made the video ourselves once more, a drive home and horror in my head altogether.
There are a stunning sixteen tracks that are each, individually, just as stupendous. A track by track description is too daunting – believe me when I say there is no let up in quality nor reversion to repetition across the entire album. There is, however, an aural diversity that shares an indelible sense for melody.
Take, at random, ‘Devil’s Work’, an instrumental with a cut throat end and an imposing wall of synths and crunchy bass that recalls The Cure at their best. Final track – ‘Time After Time’ – begins with a fuzzy, dirty assault that is suddenly leavened by the gorgeous soft vocals of Apolonia – breathless and chilling – with elements of M83. Psychedelic and entrancing music.
‘Zombies’ is in its entirety, a cathartic and enthralling body of work. If you like dream pop, if you like shoegaze if you like goth rock, if electronica is to your taste – you will be well served on all accounts. This is imperious and majestic music.
‘Zombies’ is out now through Germany’s Reptile Music and available through the link below: