In an era where bands have to build themselves as cyber brands to survive the indie quicksand of obscurity, a Montreal trio has decided to rely on their music more rather than “optimizing” their posts to become the next Instagram demigod. And kudos to them for not chrome-boosting the shit out of their lunch pics online, but actually using their WiFi to share music. Seoul (comprised of Nigel Ward, Julian Flavin, and Dexter Garcia) has been circulating a bluesy pop milieu with their first album I Become a Shade since June of this year. It is a hushed dreamscape that does not resonate the chaotic urbanism of the capital they are named after, but does deliver the loneliness we feel in large metropolises – which is the ambience they sonically aspired.
Without any bio or personal selfies, Seoul’s social media looks like an uncompleted puzzle that seems like a lazy or innovative PR campaign. But Seoul does not sequester itself from the press; the band has openly given interviews and performed live. They have opted in constructing a fan-band bond anchored with their work more than social profiles. And so far, they have garnered loyal followers who genuinely value their work.
Members Julian and Nigel have been childhood friends and were into Steely Dan as lanky teens growing up in Canada. Like most pubescent Millennials who aspired to be musicians from their home basements, their work contained some Nirvana-infused style. After those hormonal height-rocketing years, Nigel went to Berklee College of Music in Boston whereas Julian decided to nerd out in cognitive science at McGill Universiy. It is in Berklee where Nigel met Dexter Garcia and by 2010, the three of them were songsmithing together in Montreal.
I Become a Shade is a product of a long-time hatching and creative synthesis. Due to college, the trio has been half-assing in recording their album in the beginning – which is understandable, considering all the demands of undergrad life. Not to mention the shitty, low budget they had; however, Seoul crafted a nu dreamwave (undulating between dreaming and semi-waking) out of it and released “Stay With Us” on July 31, 2013. “Stay With Us” captured the auditory spotlight of many (including ours) for its uninvasively hefty percussions that had a sui generis balance to the serene croons. Their full-length album, I Become a Shade, was released on June 9, 2015. The trio, who describe each other as nocturnal, takes on fluid roles when it comes to composing as well as singing. You will hear all of their voices during the vocals. But the best part is that they are one of the rare few bands who perform with real instruments during shows – unlike some (Red Hot Chili Peppers) who don’t even have their shit plugged. Check out their live performance below:
If we can have a foursome, Aupium would definitely choose it to have it with Seoul. None of the three have annoying pitch and their suave vocals could induce the most eargasmic climax
Hint: To stalk them online, search for @seoulmtl