Death At Sea are your new favourite band – and here’s why:
Good to get that out the way. Now… on to the details.
In January 2012, five twentysomethings from Liverpool surfaced on the internet under the name Death At Sea with two tracks, some grainy Super-8 videos and artwork that gave little away as to the band’s actual appearance. A lot of artists use a ‘DIY’ aesthetic as a means of authenticating their music, but for too many it’s a haze behind which poor songwriting – and a general lack of charisma – is poorly masked.
Against Death At Sea, there can be no such accusations. The rough-around-the-edges production, home-made videos and hand-drawn designs are backed by beautifully constructed songs with huge pop hooks that embed themselves deep within your brain, refusing to leave to weeks after first exposure.
Against a backdrop of brash dubstep, seven-part harmonies and self-indulgent musicians placing technical ability over musicality (in a way not seen since prog rock was inexplicably filling stadiums), the simplicity of Death At Sea‘s approach is liberating.
There is an admirable lack of bullshit or pretence: from the four-note riff that permeates their debut single ‘Drag‘ to the repeated chorus line of most recent release ‘Selfless’ – the angst-driven declaration “You’re fucking bringing me down”. The band choose to turn up the volume and the fuzz and expose themselves, flaws and all.
Death At Sea are proof positive that in an internet age, you don’t need to gig to build buzz. In the space of 6 months – and with only 4 or 5 shows under their tattered and studded belts – the band have captured fans from Japan to Los Angeles. These include Radio 1 DJs like Jen Long and new music connoisseurs ranging from Not Many Experts to Generator and This Is Fake DIY.
Within weeks of first releasing ‘Drag’ on YouTube, the band landed their first cover feature with Liverpool music tastemaker magazine Bido Lito! and support slots with Bleached and The Twilight Sad. One reviewer was prompted to declare wholeheartedly “Death At Sea are the best band…ever!”
With seemingly no-one disputing the band’s position as the most exciting act to emerge from Liverpool’s rich musical tapestry of late, the expectation weighing on Death At Sea‘s shoulders is high. But if the band’s future releases can match the trio of tracks that are already causing A&R representatives to lose their minds, it seems likely this band will become a household name in the near future.
Trust me, and catch them in a small, sweaty venue before they’re upgraded to arenas. It might just be one of those nights you tell your kids about.