sea monkey heaven: home fabrications EP

My life would have probably been very different if my head wasn’t always so regularly turned by fuzzy atmospheric vibes. I guess all those hours spent chasing that perfect sound (and then writing about it) would be mine to use again, although dear reader, I wouldn’t swap these simple pleasures for the world.

So an idle 30 minutes this week discovering new music found me hugely admiring the low key, distinctly bedroom sketches and deliciously fuzzy sounds from the wonderfully named sea monkey heaven and their debut EP home fabrications. My anal concern for correct capitalisation insists that I must highlight that the lower case names are foist upon me by the artist.

There are 4 beautiful deceptively simple tunes in the EP. The sea monkey heaven project guys tell me they have been inspired by LA based Jacob Rubeck from Surf Curse and his side project Casino Hearts, which has a strong lo fi atmosphere also.

The opener dreaming almost feels like a Joy Division demo track. There is so much atmosphere in the tune, the air is heavy to breathe. The apparent imperfections in the recording process (the distortions, the slight fade aways) serve to give the tune a distinctively fragile air. dreaming is like a cherished family photo bent and fire singed.

If distort was a feature of the first track, there’s a total dreamy Jesus and Mary Chain meets the Velvet Underground feel to the second track running. The lyric has a simple why don’t we run away from here vibe. It’s almost as if sea monkey heaven have visited my home town of Huddersfield.

The band’s Instagram account channels an image of a dead Laura Palmer (Twin Peaks) wrapped in plastic. This is a particularly poignant pandemic image, and it also evokes that strange David Lynch mind where the normal is actually too weird for words. That low key Julee Cruise mood music style which features in much of the TV series is prevalent here.

wrapped in plastic closes the EP. This track is perhaps the most insistent and anxious vibe in the EP and it’s another delicious slice of fuzz with some very insistent and tasty chord work.

The instagram page for the band gives very little away in terms of the origins of the band apart from their hailing from Kansas in the US. All I know about Kansas is Dorothy and The Yellow Brick Road which gave me pause to wonder if it was a “symbolic” home base, rather than an actual one. The Wizard of Oz quote; “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” feels valid here.

The guys confirm that sea monkey heaven is another self isolation project, and they are part of a young Kansas City band called Local Talent. I’ve checked out Local Talent and their latest single wild rumpus is a nice slice of lo fi influenced intelligent indie rock with a gently insistent beat. While it’s not fuzzy and scratched like the sea monkey heaven EP, the sense of dark mysterious atmosphere lingers here too. I’ll be looking out for more.

Chris R

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