It only feels like recently when emo favourites Seahaven announced their long-awaited return. Given how their last studio album ‘Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism’ was six years ago, many fans seemed consigned to the band not returning for some time. But, as the saying goes, stranger things have happened.
‘Halo Of Hurt’ is the band’s third full-length album, and it’s easy to see why the return of Seahaven is so heralded. It largely feels like they never went away, but their growth as a band is immediately apparent.
‘Void’ begins as a slow burner, but slowly develops wonderfully as it goes on. ‘Moon’ is an early highlight that encapsulates everything that Seahaven can do. We have a lovely soft break in the middle, before it again builds up, with atmosphere generated everywhere, and the false ending is also very clever. The sound flirts with post rock at times, but without forgetting its roots.
In the same way that latter day Thrice can, Seahaven are able to command a song, taking it by the scruff of the neck and expertly building it up. Whilst it’s a powerful and hard-hitting record in an emotional way, it’s still an album that you can put on while gazing out of the window, while taking in the last rays of sunshine.
And there’s yet more layers that reveal themselves too. ‘Lose’ is another charmingly alluring song as it is, but the lyrical prowess of Kyle Soto< reveals itself more and more as the album goes on, with poetic, vulnerable passages that are also delivered with such class and poise vocally, Soto mostly sounds restrained yet still frail enough to pull you in.
‘Bait’ is filled with some of the most affecting, vulnerable lyrical passages of the year, with this one being a stand-out; “Cold to the core, I am nothing you need / I will dampen that light you so vibrantly beam / I am more of a burden than you’d like to believe / If you give it some time you will see what I mean”.
And still, the melancholy ‘Eraser’ is as affecting as the album gets, with an almost whispered vocal delivery at times. Ending with an almost post-rock section on a fade out, it leaves you wanting more.
Seahaven have given fans the perfect return, with ‘Halo Of Hurt’ being an album which feels incredibly comforting, but at the same time feels powerful in many ways.