Oh, to be in at the start of something special. The genesis of this single seeing the daylight might well have been a semi-drunken conversation in The Dragon pub in Nottingham one late afternoon earlier this year. Ian Evans of pop tigers Horowitz and I were on one of our regular mid-week pub trips during which we get progressively pissed and try and put the world of football, music and politics to rights. We almost certainly talk complete nonsense. However, this one particular afternoon, Ian let slip that his new band, Seabirds (which he'd formed with the remains of Red Shoe Diaries) had recorded a couple of songs in double quick time. He said he'd email me the demo when he got home, and that the band were looking for label to put the songs out on. The rough cut of 'Real Tears' was stunning, and I hooked the band up with Jimmy at Matinée. The rest is a mystery... 'Real Tears' is a storming debut; a dark tale of love, the certainty of death and loss set in the north of England. Like the best Guild League songs, it takes in numerous locations, and has a middle bit that borders on the funky. It's like Tindersticks after they've won the lottery, like The Lucksmiths had they grown up in a decaying British industrial city rather than the scorched south of Australia. Its lyrics remind me so much of when I lived on the dole in Nottingham in the mid-90s, and the trials, tiny triumphs and tears that time brought. It's a triumph of five people capturing a moment and time in three minutes, like all the best seven inch singles. On t'other side 'Oh Buoy', in which Tom whispers a love song to a near perfect-pop backdrop, with Leanne's harmonies and Ian's guitar weaving a beguiling spell. Ian even breaks out a guitar solo at one point, and you can almost imagine Seabirds playing to a couple of thousand people. It's the more instant of the two songs, but there's no hierarchy here - just two songs on one quite glorious debut single. The lesson of all this? Go to the pub more often, obviously. --A Layer of Chips
Love at first listen. I'm serious. Matinée Recordings just found another unmissable new band for our longing indiepop ears! Only two tunes, I know, but what an incredibly promising start is the debut 7", out now, from this young quintet from Nottingham, UK. "Real Tears" is a stunning jangle-pop pill with rocking guitars and male-female soaring vocals that you will find very high on my best-of-the-year songs list, while backing "Oh Buoy!" takes a slightly softer approach without losing its immediate effervescence. MORE! We want MORE!
As you may have gleaned from our trifling contre-temps in the White Swan the other night, we don't necessarily share the increasingly fashionable view that the indie-pop scene of 2013 is rosier than that of say, 1987. Revisionism, it seems to us, cuts both ways. Nevertheless, little gladdens our hearts more than the raft of sparkling, new British bands (see also the Hobbes Fanclub, the Fireworks) who have picked up their cudgels to conscientiously dig the foundations for some kind of new indie-pop order. And Nottingham's Seabirds join that club with this, a positively shimmering, blue-vinyl first 45, housed in a great sleeve that brings to mind those lino-cuts you used to do at primary school, albeit rather more elegantly executed. "Real Tears" presses most salient buttons, starting with butter-wouldn't-melt jangling chords yet ending in the stark, zero-bpm half-light, imploring usto "sing about death". In between, this disaffected distant cousin of B&S nonchalantly swigs a premium-strength brew of Butcher Boy, Tompaulin and approx. 92 of this fanzine's Scandinavian pop heroes, boasting appropriately dewy and glistening verses, an unassailable boy/girl chorus and, just so you don't get too comfy, a slightly unexpected, skanking instrumental - lifted by a seemingly improvised guitar part - before they take a second or two to work out how to make it back to the chorus again. There are also, rather terrifically, lyrical references to vampire bats, which we'll need to get the bottom of. The song reminds us about the shock, the power, of *actually* crying. We're so used to tearfulness as a metaphor, or as the currency of every soap opera and every other pop song, that we forget how physical, how palpable, how rare - in every sense - it can be in adulthood: Seabirds subvert such clichés with no little style. (This may be no surprise, given the apparent personnel connections between Seabirds and former Fika signings, the gently-swaggering, got-soul Red Shoe Diaries). And, in keeping with the visceral theme, this lot are happily unafraid to let their electric guitars actually *sound* like electric guitars, always a pleasant surprise in this tediously 'stripped down', mobile phone ad-friendly day and age. Although we refuse to condone its pun-tastic title, B-side "Oh Buoy!" lets you feel the burn too, unveiling more chords which tangle and chime, and unfurling a fluttering butterfly metaphor to reveal a "beauty I never knew". It's fair to say that the butterflies, the bats and the 'birds all meet with our seal of approval. --In Love With These Times, In Spite Of These Times
I’ve been to Nottingham a lot. I even used to work there actually, in a lace factory. Lace is one of the things that the city is well known for, along with having a couple of football teams, the River Trent, and Robin Hood. Or at least Sherwood Forest. Anyway. Boots the chemist was formed there, by a John Boot (no, really) and fashion designer Paul Smith and Hi de Hi’s Su Pollard (ahem) were born there. It’s the wrong place for Seabirds though, what with it being just about as far from the sea as anywhere else in the country. But that is exactly what a Nottingham five piece have taken as a moniker. The band have been building up a bit of steam playing the local circuit as well as trips down to the capital, and have recently played one of our favourite festivals, Indietracks. They’ve signed to US sunshine pop label Matinée, and have just released their debut single, Real Tears. The song itself will bring a little sunshine into your life. It’s pure bubblegum indie-pop, but with just enough bite to stave off any whiff of the dreaded twee word. It’s has an irresistible chorus, this swooping guitar solo, boy/girl harmonies to die for, and a break that sounds a little bit like Vampire Weekends cheeky cousin. It’s slightly retro, but who cares? Seabirds, eh? From Nottingham. Wrong Place, wrong time, totally brilliant. Pick it up at the Matinée website. --Backseat Mafia
There’s comfort in familiarity, which might go some way to explaining why straight-up indie-pop remains such a rewarding genre. The latest band to have us dancing across floorboards in our baggy shirts is Nottingham’s Seabirds. The bands debut single is a two-track release on Matinée Recordings and it’s as pure a slice of jangly rock as you’ll hear all year – even if we’ve been here many times before. The boy-girl vocal harmonies are endlessly charming, the guitars are the always-willing best friend, and the hooks and melodic charm that’s buried within is endlessly enrapturing – especially on lead track Real Tears which bubbles with the quiet intensity of Belle & Sebastian at their most sun-soaked. Fresh from a performance at this years’ Indietracks Festival, the single is released on September 24th on transparent blue vinyl in a limited edition of 500 hand-numbered copies.
--Gold Flake Paint
There's not a lot of information out there about Nottingham quintet Seabirds but there are a few facts that we can be sure of. Firstly, they sure do know how to craft an indie pop ditty with melody and heart string tugging lyrics that Belle & Sebastian would kill for (alright, maybe not kill, but they would get all sulky about life. Secondly, 'Real Tears' could be a future indie disco smash as it has just the right kind of rhythm for shuffling about awkwardly to before failing to make a move on anyone at all. Thirdly, Seabirds have got that male/female vocal harmony thing down to a fine art which makes an already bitter-sweet song all the more enjoyable. And with a 7" release coming up on U.S. label Matinée Records, you can safely say that there are good things on the horizon for our very own Seabirds. Cheesy? Yeah. It's Sunday, I don't care. --Listen With Monger
People who have a dislike of the indiepop genre will generally use the dreaded "t-word" as their first weapon of defence when attempting to belittle bands who favour this approach. To some people, being labelled as twee isn't an insult, indeed it's the very purpose of their music. Others? Call them twee and you'll be given a look as though you've just beheaded their granny and declared yourself the Antichrist. The last few years in particular have seen indiepop champions retreating for fear of such a tag being pinned on them. What it is about that word and what it says about your character is a discussion for another time, but closet indiepop fans may wish to openly share their love of Seabirds. Coming from Nottingham's currently thriving music scene, 'Real Tears' is their début single and is released on the ever-dependable Matinée imprint. Indiepop? It sure is. Twee? Maybe some with argue so, but the fuzz of the guitars wipes away any sickly cute notes you may detect from the song. Like fey jangle colliding with early Teenage Fanclub, there's a more solid sound to this track and also its B-side 'Oh Buoy', both of which are cut from the same cloth. The writing is classic of the genre and the sound would be difficult to date if you weren't aware this was a current release. They don't shy away from allowing those guitars to add a bit more crunch and a bit more bite to their melodic pop tunes. Seabirds aren't as straightforward as many bands, and on these fine recordings they give themselves some leeway as to future direction, but for now they should be embraced by a wider range of music fans than their more saccharine cousins. --Sounds XP
Like the Robin Hood of legend, Nottingham quintet Seabirds are here to steal your heart, and perhaps a bit of your money. Perhaps I was too harsh -- it isn't stealing if you get something of value in return. In this case, Seabirds provide two top class indie pop songs, "Real Tears" and "Oh Buoy". There is an engaging familiarity about these songs, with the energetically played guitars -- fuzz alternating with picking -- sincere lead vocals and excellent harmonies. The layered guitars have enough heft to dodge the twee tag despite the sweet hooks, and there is a complimentary similarity to Belle & Sebastian and, especially in the second song, Teenage Fanclub. This is an extremely well-crafted debut release, and emphasizes the joy of collecting quality music in small batches. --When You Motor Away
Another day, another 7″ release on the Matinée label. This time it’s the turn of Nottingham’s Seabirds. I don’t know anything about the band as of yet but I have spotted Ian from Horowitz in their lineup. That alone should be a recommendation to check them out but it’s a great song regardless of who is actually in the band! --Records I Like
Sorry folks, but Matinée Recordings is on a huge roll at the moment, releasing their 4th great single to the masses in a little over a week. This time around, the label has picked up Seabirds to release the Real Tears 7″ this coming August. On the title track, the tune opens with just vocals and strumming, but soon opens up to a more full band sound with a female vocal accompaniment and drums. While that quick change-up is pretty special, I’m pretty stuck on the tone of the vocal itself; it’s gentle and familiar, fitting perfectly into the spectrum of great indiepop singing. Cheers to this. --Austin Town Hall
Seabirds son una de esas pequeñas bandas digamos que “residuales” que pululan por la escena musical británica, que hacen las cosas a su manera, absolutamente independiente y casi en la clandestinidad. Una de esas agrupaciones que aún tiran de las guitarras para basar su sonido, absolutamente “artesano” y a la par arrebatador. Evidentemente, con esos principios, tienen todas las cartas para jugar en la baraja de Matineé Recordings, un sello absolutamente volcado en este tipo de grupos. Real tears es su primer sencillo, una preciosa canción de ecos que nos recuerdan a los Belle and Sebastian más íntimos. Os dejo los enlaces. --The Janglebox
E' finalmente in pre-order il 7" d'esordio di una formazione di Nottingham che pare avere tutte la carte in regola per rapire il nostro cuore a colpi di guitar-pop fresco e iper-melodico. Stiamo parlando dei favolosi Seabirds che escono ovviamente per la nostra amata Matinée Recordings. Due brani soltanto, ma direi che per ora bastano e avanzano a colmare la nostra sete di ritornelli vincenti e la nostalgia per le cose migliori dei Belle and Sebastian. Real Tears è sostenuta e magnificamente agrodolce, con lo stacco centrale giocato tra ritmica e assolo di chitarra che lascia a bocca aperta dall'incanto. Il lato b è l'altrettanto coinvolgente Oh Buoy!, con quella voce femminile adorabile a tenere la linea melodica e magie sonore che rimandano addirittura alle prelibatezze dei Teenage Fanclub o dei mai dimenticati 18 Wheeler più solari e radiosi quando la chitarra si fa più rumorosa. Insomma, un trionfo! Avrete capito che l'acquisto è assolutamente consigliato. Per qualcuno, grazie a Dio, l'estate non è per niente finita... --Troublezine
Was das für eine wunderbare kleine Indiepopperle ist, die die Band Seabirds aus Nottingham mit ‘Real Tears’ geschrieben haben. Ein sehr charmanter männlich-weiblicher Duettgesang, klasse melodische Gitarren und tolle Harmonien machen den Song zu einem 4-minütigen unwiderstehlichen Hörgenuss. Erinnert auf angenehme Art sehr an Belle & Sebastian. ‘Real Tears’ ist am 24. September via Matinée Records erschienen und kann als auf 500 Stück limitierte 7″ (mit dem ebenfalls sehr schönen ‘Oh Buoy’ als B-Seite) oder als digitaler Download erworben werden. Ein Album soll Anfang 2014 folgen. --Human Cannonball
Continuando con la excelente linea a la que nos tienen acostumbrados , el sello Matinée Recordings nos presenta a su nuevo fichaje, Seabirds, quinteto de Nottingham que debuta con "Real Tears", brillante single de presentación que se editará a finales de Agosto. --Stereo Pills