From the majestic orchestration of opening track Ices (Death & Love) to the melodic balladry of stirring closer Smokestar, Seabellies’ debut album – By Limbo Lake – asserts itself as a memorable record abounding in beautifully explorative, textural pop.
The gloriously atmospheric Ices (Death & Love) soars, emotes and flourishes as vivid images of icy oceans and snow’s numbing sensation infiltrate frontman Trent Grenell’s cry of "The world is coming / Time won’t pick you up / Death and love are stunning." With swooning strings, surging guitars, militaristic drums and glistening electronic embellishments, it’s an elevating introduction to the Seabellies’ layered pop aesthetic, one that they’re evidently skilled proponents of. Even with the insanely infectious Orange X, there’s no sign of a contrived effort to gain high radio airplay, only sublime pop hooks and hypnotic grooves, and in Young Cubs‘ case – the sprightly encapsulation of the Newcastle-bred sextet’s euphoric youthfulness and spirited ambition.
Produced by legendary Australian producer Wayne Connolly, By Limbo Lake heralds the exciting development and impressive progression of one of the country’s finest young bands. Armour is another testament to the band’s ambitious trajectory as hip-hop influenced verses, dreamy pop harmonies and psychedelic electro textures coalesce harmoniously.
Grenell’s lyrics do, at times, appear random and nondescript as they’re primarily melody-driven rather than idea-laden, but it’s the dreamy landscapes traversed that are most appealing, as is the case with excellent single Trans Ending, and Sleepwell in which Grenell mourns "The ones who sleep amongst the aisles / On beds of shattered dreamless tiles will / Sleep forever / But sometimes we will miss the signs / That bend with roads in endless lines / But know how far we’ll go / To put to bed the endless doubts / The money men they algebrize".