Album Review: Seafair – The Querencia

SeafairCleveland’s Seafair is about to turn some heads this year.

I know I have talked about a lot of Cleveland acts on my site, but this is the first time I have spoken on a band that is this incredibly multi-genred.

Seafair has been doing their thing since 2012 and is comprised of six amazing musicians whose roots  dip into an impressive and diverse dynamic of musical styles including everything from classical to punk rock.  The Querencia is the band’s debut release and is dropping next month.

Lead vocalist Chayla Hope has a voice that demands to be heard by anyone willing to open their ears.  Its deeper, powerful style is more Juliana Hatfield over Adele/Lorde (from what I have heard via mainstream radio, honestly I can’t stand either of those two).  Seriously, it is a bit fierce and a whole ton of passionate.

SeafairSide note: Having been good pals with Seafair’s drummer Ryan Kelly for at least 10 years now, there was no way I was not going to talk about this new band.  On another side note, I used to work with Andrea Bleding Elson’s husband at an EB Games back in the day.  Small world…

A classical intro to the album set me back for a moment as I became enthralled in the peaceful composure that morphed into “Vultures”.  I am not going to lie, I was not terribly impressed with this track and although Chayla Hope had a forceful and beautiful singing voice, the track itself did nothing for me.

“DIM”, however, was the complete opposite.  I adored this track on so many levels.  From the string playing to the infectious drumming of Sir Kelly, everything about this track was likable.  Perhaps it was the Björk-like melodies and singing towards the end that grasped me.  I almost hate myself for admitting I did not like the prior track, but then again, I am one one of millions of opinions out there.  This track though was a solid jam and everyone needs to check it out.

“Inferno” followed with a bellowing Hope singing her heart out.  This was one of the tracks I could image sounds so much better live on a hot summer night.

Hearing the “The Score” was like hearing an orchestrated indie rock track like none other.  This song built up so nicely and once the guitar playing picked up at the peak of the track, I was quietly rocking out here to it.  It was like one of those songs that is a story that builds with excitement.  My only quarrel with this track, is I wish the story lasted a little longer.

I am fairly certain “Ohio” was written about me and my return back to my favorite state in the world.  I am also positive that is not the case at all, but I’m ok with thinking that.  Honestly, this track about love growing distant was amazing to listen to.  I loved the breakdown at the end that changed things up.  This was one of the best tracks on the album in my opinion.

“Discovery” was another fantastic track.  I am sure this may be misconstrued in a sense, but this track was like listening to Foxy Shazam with a female singer.  Hope’s range on this track was just all over the place and perfect throughout.  I also got a kick out of the back up vocals that interjected throughout.  The more and more I listened to it, the more I loved it.

Quick props need to be given to the Ween-like guitar solo in “Not A Cure”.  The track overall was intense to listen to and it just erupted at the end.

Seafair to me is festival music, you know, the kind is best heard live during warm summer nights.  I know they were trying to play Bonnaroo but sadly did not win a voting competition.  That’s the voters loss, I think this band would kill it at the ‘Roo.  Regardless, they will play shows and they will turn heads.  I know it.

The Querencia is a beautifully put together album that is not over produced and spans over so many genres that I feel it will be difficult for anyone to not enjoy some part of it.  The album really grasps your attention throughout and treats it to a fine listen.

I was not expecting Seafair to sound the way they did, and that’s ok.  Surprises in music are one of my favorite things in life and I really hope others experience that feeling too.

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