Miami’s Seafoam Walls return today with a knotty new single + live video, “AI,” from their debut album XVI, out November 12 via The Daydream Library Series, the house record label of Ecstatic Peace Library operated by Eva Prinz & Thurston Moore. The release perhaps best displays the band’s collagic approach to jazz, shoegaze, rock, hip-hop, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms — self-dubbed ‘Caribbean Jazzgaze.’ Guitarist/singer Jayan Bertrand muses on themes of idealism, accountability, regret, and rejection, as he and bandmate Dion Kerr spin a web of restless guitar riffs glued together by Josh Ewers’ bass and Josue Vargas’ drums/sampler driving the song from start to cathartic finish.
The band’s name is meant to convey a sort of pseudo-chromotherapy, suggesting a relaxed mood when one is alone with their thoughts in a seafoam green-colored room. But the themes explored are heavy — self-identity, philosophy, navigating today’s crumbling social constructs — and stem from Jayan Bertrand’s online interactions and personal experiences, making him question his and others’ humanity. “When I wrote these songs my worldview was crumbling. A new wave of activism and intersectionality was shifting the way I thought and wrote,” he explains. That paradoxical approach is what makes XVI sound like little else that came before. A collection of songs as ethereal journeys; both the compositions and ideas found throughout explore a myriad of paths that almost never repeat themselves.
Seafoam Walls caught the attention of cultish music and art communities around South Florida with a soundtrack befitting of their dark tropical paradise, and have remained a Miami secret since 2016. They released their first EP, R-E-F-L-E-C-T, in 2018 and a follow-up, ROOT, the following year. Seafoam Walls have since taken this sound, unlike any other in Miami, to music festivals like Afropunk’s “Black Spring” and III Points music festival, playing alongside Thundercat, Blood Orange, Tyler, The Creator, and Gorillaz; all influences of the band itself. A year away from the III Points stage led to the recording of their first LP. Just as recording neared completion, a chance encounter and introduction made their debut release on Thurston Moore and Eva Prinz’s The Daydream Library Series a possibility.
Photo Courtesy: Christopher Nazon