The Seshen - Flames & Figures
Imagine Little Dragon recorded a record with Erykah Badu for a DJ set inspired by Stranger Things. Chuck in some FlyLo-style space-travelling, some powerfully yearning lyrics and then make the whole thing sound like a summery, pop music dream. That’s probably the closest you’re going to get to defining The Seshen’s second full-length album, Flames & Figures.
The Californian seven-piece are signed to Brighton’s Tru Thoughts label, and have recently supported Thundercat, Petite Noir and Hiatus Kaiyote: fitting artists whose influences on their sound is clear. The Seshen establish the album’s focus; femininity rules, as the lyrics offer an exploration of the narrator’s consciousness, and lead singer Lalin St. Juste steals the show with stripped back, pure-sounding vocals. Her voice contrasts beautifully with some of the face-melting bass lines, but blends perfectly with the band's soul-pop choruses.
The album opens with Distant Heart, manipulating 80s-reminiscent synths with the recent trend in laid-back R'n'B vocals, and evoking nostalgia with a sound likened to video game soundtracks. From start to finish, the record plays with tempo in a fascinating way, and the size of the band is evidenced from the depth of sound; this record is far from two-dimensional. A crisp, exciting, otherworldly fusion of pop, R'n'B and electronica. [Kenza Marland]
Listen to: Distant Heart