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~ The Seshen
- Label: Tru Thoughts
- Cat Number: TRUDD181
“The band didn’t just find a niche, they created their own...” - KICK KICK SNARE
“Really lovely” – LAUREN LAVERNE (BBC 6MUSIC)
“They perform that rare magic trick of doing something fresh without ever sounding like they’re trying to” - AFROPUNK
“The group’s powerful live show is now being matched to an astute studio approach which wrings out the emotion from every track” – CLASH
The San Francisco Bay Area-based seven-piece is led by singer/lyricist Lalin St. Juste and bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara. The duo is joined by five remarkable bandmates to create their multidimensional music: vocalist Kasha Rockland, drummer Chris Thalmann, keyboard/synth player Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, and sampler Kumar Butler. Their forward-thinking sound combines synthesizers, drum machines, live percussion and entrancing harmonies to create an unmistakable fusion of R&B, synth-pop and electronic music that has led fans and critics alike to describe the band as defying categorisation.
The Seshen have been expanding their presence at home in the Bay Area and beyond since the release of their debut self-titled album on Bandcamp (2012). Two years later, they signed to Tru Thoughts Records and released the “Unravel EP” (2014) followed by the “Unravel Remixes EP” (2015). Their distinctive sound has garnered support from DJs and publications like Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq and Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6Music), Jason Bentley (KCRW/NPR), OkayPlayer, Earmilk, The Line of Best Fit and Clash Magazine.
“Distant Heart” features bright synth swells, an infectious bass line, and a beat that begs the listener to dance. The music creates a timeless electro-pop capsule in which St. Juste’s lyrics explore a balance of longing and hope. One of the most personal songs on the album, “Distant Heart” was written in response to the devastating loss of a friend. St Juste explains, “It’s about being unable to reach someone who is determined on their path away from you. In the chorus I’m saying ‘you went too far and I can’t see you, you can’t go on and I can’t reach you’, now your heart is far away - there’s nothing I can do but let you go.”
The inspiration for the tUnE-yArDs “Distant Heart” remix struck Merrill Garbus while watching The Seshen perform the song live in early 2016. After the show, she set to work in her Oakland, CA studio with bassist Nate Brenner and master drummer Daniel "Brav" Brevil of Rara Tou Limen (the traditional Haitian dance and drumming company where St. Juste and Garbus first met). The result is nothing short of a celebration of rhythm. The remix begins with St. Juste’s voice and augmented synths from the original track, then builds with a simple polyrhythmic beat and bass line that are instantly recognizable as the work of tUnE-yArDs. From there, the track explodes into a swell of drums and synths punctuated by St. Juste’s kaleidoscopic swirling vocals. Garbus casts a faraway vocal line of her own into the breakdown, a perfectly fitting setup to the powerful inverted refrain “You can’t go on and I can’t reach you. You went too far and I can’t see you.” The frenetic rhythms wind down into simplicity and the track ends with St. Juste’s voice alone at the forefront: “Try to hold it together, so many pieces of a hopeful distant heart.”
On the cusp of a new era, ‘Flames & Figures’ has been two years in the making and marks an evolution in The Seshen’s unique sound. Narrated by St. Juste’s lyrical stream of consciousness, ‘Flames & Figures’ explores themes of femininity, power, illusion, and loss as she draws on both her personal experiences and the world of her imagination.
Pre-order the new album "Flames & Figures" HERE