Seoul I Become A Shade on LP
Seoul have never been in a rush. Despite the overwhelming praise that met the Montreal trio's first two online releases - “Stay With Us” and “White Morning” - and despite the industry chatter that surrounded their first live performance at Pop Montreal 2013, kindergarten classmates Nigel Ward and Julian Flavin, and art school transplant Dexter Garcia remained resolute in fine tuning the dozen songs that would become their official debut: I Become A Shade.
“We’re just very intent on trying to get our musical ideas to exist as the definitive versions of themselves,” says Ward. “Granted, each idea has limits, but its a question of discovering the borders of an idea and then putting its essence on display — so much of that has to do with the slow sculptural nature of studio work. Playing around in a studio invites elements of chance, collage, and trial-and-error into the process, which feels essential to having a song really reveal itself to you. Its a process of organizing our intuitions into cohesive moments and seeing where it takes us.”
Where their intuitions took them is a very special place indeed. From the lush ache and bouyance of “Stay With Us” to the sculpted synths and angular sincerity of “The Line,” I Become A Shade is the sort of record whose every detail, whether panoramic or microscopic, is on glorious, deliberate display. A work separated into three distinct suites, the record is equal parts gauzy dream-pop, reverberant R&B, and speculative ambient - a world where sentences are often left unfinished and meaning rears its head in the intervals. The propulsive “Real June” and “Silencer” both hurtle through space like rain-drenched athletes, while “I Negate” and “White Morning” shimmer with a hushed honesty, growing and pirouetting with dreamy eventuality into a thick focus.
And that’s what I Become A Shade is meant to be - an examination of poles - a debut that rains with the melancholy of sidelong glances and rented rooms, while frequently transcending its own desperateness in moments of breathless self-discovery. While one might think something labored over for so long would come with a prescribed understanding, Seoul would rather fans meet and interpret the record at their own personal junctures.
“We’re interested in presenting different versions of the self, the endless shift from self-loathing and loneliness to vibrancy and connectedness and back,” says Flavin. “All states are valid, and we’ve tried to collect and display the beauty and necessity of both spectrums of experience - how it can feel both awful and cathartic to liquify into your surrounding and disappear.”
Seoul I Become A Shade Track Listing:
1. I Become a Shade
2. The Line
3. Haunt / A Light
4. Real June
6. White Morning
7. Stay With Us
8. Thought You Were
9. I Negate
10. Carrying Home Food In Winter