Thursday, June 11, 2015
Cassette Review: Seafoam Galaxy "Americans Dreaming" (Merica "Records")
[$5 // Edition of 34 // https://mericarecords.bandcamp.com/album/americans-dreaming]
To me, you can tell how old someone is by what music they listen to and thus what music they reference when listening to something new. One of the best examples of this is any time you hear a band with male and female vocals, what does your mind go back to first? For me, it's always Rainer Maria but again, I am old. You could go back even further I'm sure (Sonny and Cher?) but I feel like most kids these days will come up with Of Monsters and Men and I'm not entirely certain how I feel about that because that band essentially just took what Mumford & Sons made popular and added female vocals into it rather than being new and innovative the way that Rainer Maria did.
The vocals trade off during songs, from line to line, and there are also a couple of songs on here with only female vocals. When there are strictly female vocals, the songs can become dreamy and to me they have that Mazzy Star ballad quality that is simply fantastic, but the rest of the songs don't fall into a similar -gaze genre and that's okay. From the western style of Green Day (my mind fails to place the exact song, but try either "Nimrod" or "American Idiot") to that "Wild Horses" song (You know the one, it goes "Wild, wild horses couldn't drag me away") right down to the group vocals of a folk punk band on "My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died", Seafoam Galaxy cannot really be pinned down by a genre.
I do, however, simply like to think of them as Americana in a lot of ways and not just because they happen to sing about America a lot. If you happen to live in America or have ever been to an American sporting event, you'll tend to find that while the United States has its national anthem, it also has a lot of other songs about how much people love this country and I remember as a kid growing up it was kind of confusing remembering whether the "Star-Spangled Banner" or "America the Beautiful" was in fact the national anthem, and as it is not the latter, why is that song then so important to our society? It's like the second place or back up national anthem in some ways, I guess. As if to say, "Your song wasn't good enough to be the national anthem per se, but it can be forever related to it and typically sung with it. Taking off your hats is optional".
It just goes right down to those little songs like "This land is my land, this land is your land" and such that is what Seafoam Galaxy reminds me of at times and why I want to think of them as Americana. That being said, this cassette isn't overly patriotic either- that is to say, to the point where you just feel like the red, white and blue are being shoved down your throats (We'll save that for Tim McGraw) and that isn't bad either it just keeps it sort of level-headed when we live in a society driving around with bumper stickers that read "these colors don't run". So even if you don't happen to love 'Murica or simply have mixed feelings about people wearing the flag as clothing, these are just good songs that don't have to be political if you don't want them to be.