Summer’s officially here in the northern hemisphere and, it wouldn’t be the same without the psychedelic yacht rock, deck shoegaze, hazy beach-pop vibrations, and marina drone music of UK-based duo Seahawks. Thankfully, they’re back.
As a followup to last August’s sunny, chilled out Escape Hatch LP, the duo of Jon Tye and Pete Fowler has released Starways, an EP featuring originals and remixes of Hatch cuts “Starways” and “Valparaiso” (feat. Ed Macfarlane of Friendly Fires) and a remix of galactic Hatch cut “Visitors.”
The originals are exquisite. “Valparaiso” has a seaside groove that pairs well with Macfarlane’s hazy pipes. “Starways” is a nearly 12-minute head-nodder and mind-expander that is also potentially Seahawks’ magnum opus — it’s up there with “White Horses,” also on Hatch. This downtempo cut features saxes that sensually come in and out of the arrangement, alternating places with psychedelic synth ephemera, trumpet-fueled jazzy interludes, and profound gesticulations of transcendence. “Visitors” is one of the shorter Hatch cuts — a galactic transition heavy on synth drone, spacey blips, and a sexy, sax-led groove David Lynch would love.
The remix artists do their part to shake up those songs for a new year.
Nick Mackrory turns “Valparaiso” into an awesome and tight bossa nova number. Macfarlane’s high-octave mantras abound over a bossa drum machine, a slow, body-moving upright bass, acoustic guitars, and sensual, dreamy horns. It’s summer for the southern hemisphere set (even though it’s currently winter there).
“Visitors (Marius Circus Garden Acid Dub)” is definitely what it says it is. Norwegian House DJ Marius Circus has turned “Visitors” into an entrancing, engaging, and cinematic composition, stretching out the original’s four-minute interstellar revelations into about 10 minutes of blissful and rhythmic elevation.
Australia-based balearic producer Len Leise has an expert go at “Starways,” crafting a washed-out beach cut replete with synth choir patches, wave samples, bubbly synths, percussive synth-bass stabs, and tempered drums. The saxes are still there. All in all, it’s a blissed out and therefore fitting closer to this fine EP.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: During times of great uncertainty, when our hearts are pumping too fast and our fight-or-flight responses are finely tuned, Seahawks and their friends’ remix contributions are a damn fine antidote.
Starways is out today on Ocean Moon. It’s available from all of the usual suspects. Spotify stream is below:
Check out the entirety of Escape Hatch below (Spotify):
I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer the opportunity to experience Tye’s excellent Beats in Space set from November 2015. It’s awesome.