Sometimes its a little tricky to find out something about a band when all you have to go on is the album itself. So it was with this one.
Let’s see. For starters the band Seil Lein is a band fronted by Marie Claire White. The band’s name means “little lotus” which is Marie Claire’s Chinese name (she has a Scottish mother and a Chinese father). And that’s where my background info ends. So, what about the music?
But if I were you, I’d listen to the vocals first. In fact you can’t do any other. It is often the case that a vocalist perfectly embodies the band’s music. Yes without Anderson anyone? Here on this album, we have a vocalist whose performance, whilst perfectly supported by the music, is outstanding, bordering on the unique and certainly on the distinctive side. Marie Claire has a voice and vocal style that sets her apart, both chameleonic in style and sound, and also intriguingly charismatic in its intensity and vulnerability. Imogen Heap with soul, perhaps?
And the music behind it is definitely on the aforementioned Imogen Heap side of things, or perhaps Portishead, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave….and I am sure a wealth of other influences. An indie heart with pop sensibilities, there are times of enticing beat (“Kiss Me Like I’m Somebody Else”), sultry gothic (“A Little While More”), teen urgency (“I am Fire.”). I think you get the picture.
An album steeped in loneliness, sensing betrayal and voicing a desire to escape the shackles, these emotions are mirrored in the music and vocals, room to breathe suddenly subsumed in all-encompassing smothering soundscapes. It can be eerie, it can be unsettling, it can be enticing, and it is defiantly independent.
This CarbFace Records release is available on CD and vinyl via Bandcamp