Sealions
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Sealions

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | SELF
Band Rock EDM

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This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Nov
18
Sealions @ The Ultra Lounge

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Nov
16
Sealions @ Death By Audio

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Nov
15
Sealions @ Little Bar

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

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This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

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Add a dash of the dark electronica/pop of The Cure, then mix in some of the experimental dance beats of David Bowie, refresh it with some talent from today and you have yourself some Sealions. The Atlanta-based foursome have recently been taking over the local music scene with their new take on what it means to be an indie artist in Atlanta. A city known for its abundance of alternative rockers and hip-hop stars, the Sealions bring a fresh new sound to the scene.

It’s undeniable how influential the music of the ’80s has been on current artists, but with the Sealions, the music actually sounds like it could be played alongside a playlist of early Madonna and Human League and not sound out of place. Retro isn’t the word for it, perhaps homage?

Not a concept record, but Strange Veins does have a theme: “I Love the 80's…A Lot!” Because of that, while it’s easy to call the album dated , it also becomes a strong contender for filler, something the band smartly avoids by filling the disc with sing-a-long harmonies and sharp production.

The band gets it the best when they channel their ’80s-disco side. Both Joey Pation and Jason Travis capture the true elements of their sound with their voice. Tracks like “Bellweather” blend the airy-pop of Erasure at their peak and the SAW production of Kylie Minogue in her beginnings. Perhaps the most infectious track of the bunch, it makes for the perfect night at the disco. That’s not to say the rest of the album is anything to skip, in fact the entire album takes in mind the dance sensibility that the ’80s provided much of. Some songs are more downtempo (“Apparition”) than others (such as “Islands”), but each and every track does have something for the dance floor.

“Quarter Moon” not only sounds like something David Bowie would have recorded during his “Ashes to Ashes”-era, but actually sounds better! But with all these influences, the one thing the band is missing in their music is warmth. While none of the tracks are sweet-n-low sweet, at times the music seems cold and calculated, with the production bordering on icy. No worries though, the band has much time to melt and let some emotion show.

Two decades after the ’80s are over, the sound still reigns supreme, the same way disco did in the ’90s and the way that house music will most likely made a comeback in the 2010s. Wait long enough and all music will come back in style, which is a good thing. Ten years isn’t long enough to enjoy a certain type of music and the Sealions are doing their part to let those who love the ’80s to continue to get into that groove. - Atlanta Music Guide


Sealions’ lush synth-pop is unapologetically retro, reaching back across a quarter century of music and pulling out more than a handful of New Order’s smoky dance floor atmospherics. And, really, it’s this sort of ’80s electro spirit that the Atlanta four-piece channels throughout their hypnotic debut, Strange Veins, an album full of hazy, infectious dance grooves that would rather float along celestially than thump insistently. But as a matter of substance, there is more going on here than mere nostalgia worship. Songs like the billowing opener, “Bellwether,” and the elegant “Apparition,” seem initially locked into a bygone era, but as they progress and unfold, more contemporary elements—a buzzing smattering of beats here, an arresting dream-pop guitar line there—begin to spill out.

Other tracks such as “Indian Summer” and the “Islands” are more doggedly forward-thinking, employing familiar ’80s dance/disco trappings—snappy handclaps, swelling synths, vocals drenched in reverb—but coating them in a modern electro veneer. For indie rock aficionados, there are guitars here to be sure, and some even carry a distorted heft, but mostly they’re buried and subtle, used not as catalysts, but as so much gravel and sand in the foundation. But what sticks out the most is just how artfully crafted these songs are, straddling the line between a traditional get-on-the-floor dance pop aesthetic and a more soft-edged experimental approach.

Despite its pastel-hued glow and deceptively upbeat demeanor, Sealions has delivered a late night soundtrack for sweaty, bleary-eyed souls in motion. There are a some hiccups and gaffes here and there and the production, however crisp, seems to whitewash a lot of the material, at times robbing the songs of their individuality. But overall Strange Veins is an impressive debut, one that generally skirts mindless pop escapism in favor of something more thoughtful and inventive. - Latest Disgrace


Strange Veins is the first step in a soft-focus, synth-pop odyssey for Atlanta four-piece Sealions. The dynamic between singer/guitarist/keyboardist Joey Patino's stiff '80s production (recalling everything from middle period New Order to Pet Shop Boys radio-friendly fare) and vocalist/guitarist Jason Travis' chilly vocal yearning creates tension that is both wistful and seductive. On the surface, billowing synthetic vistas feel like a full-on nostalgia trip. But the man-made warp in "Bellwether" sparks a modern glow that shines in "Golden" and "Indian Summer." Exact beats and dark intonations collide in an up-tempo plod that can be a bit jarring to ears conditioned by rock 'n' roll's brashness. But Strange Veins never oversteps its bounds, making it all the more focused. "Islands" and "Apparition" reveal fluidity in a band discovering its true personality. Sealions aren't quite there yet, but they're on the right track, crafting sublime, electronic dance floor fodder that carries the cinch of a full band. (3 out of 5 stars). - Creative Loafing


Sealions opened the night with a blend of a bassy instrumental track into the danceable "Bellwether," creating a mix that well represents the rest of the band's repertoire. Electronic pop beats behind echoing vocals make for a thoroughly '80s sound, but the trio's melodies are fresh, catchy and often moody. The borderline blasé, drawn out vocals from both Jason Travis and Joey Patino attach a depressing feel to the music - like you might feel bad for dancing along if you listened to the lyrics. The show was more serious than energetic with all three musicians relatively stone-faced throughout, but the lack of expression allowed for a calm but engaging set.

-Jhoni Jackson - Stomp & Stammer, Atlanta


Sealions played next on the side stage, and they sounded really good. They sort of remind me of Summerbirds In The Cellar with less ardor. This three piece has a lot of potential and I’m thrilled about the prospect of their first full length album dropping sometime this year.

-Davy Minor - www.Ohmpark.com


At about 8:40, the first act took the stage. Sealions, they are called. A local band actually, although not one i had ever even heard of before. They are a two piece, featuring two guys on guitars and vocals, and a table of various electronic gear.


Sealions configure the electronics prior to playing.

They sounded great. One of the vocalists bore a sonic resemblance to Paul Carrack circa the first Mike + the Mechanics record (which is a great lost classic of new wave pop!) The other singer reminds me more of Chris Donohue of Ova Looven. That is to say, the one vocalist has more of a classically good singing voice, while the other is more nasally, but has obviously worked at it in order to know how to use his voice to best effect.


Sealions are the best band since Mike + the Mechanics!

Otherwise, the band played a sort of synth pop. Guitars were echoed and distorted, and a variety of machine beats and synth tones poured from the laptop and other gear.


Sealions were thwarted by their electronics on their last song.

It was an engaging set, made all the more enjoyable because the band is totally unknown. Good for them. I hope that Sealions make a habit of performing out more in town.

- www.evilsponge.org


Discography

Strange Veins LP

Photos

Bio

Having cut their teeth on numerous projects throughout high school and college, Atlanta natives Jason Travis and Joey Patino formed Sealions in an effort to reach through the apathetic din of modern guitar rock and grasp something inventive and invasive. Before long the duo’s formidable songwriting skills and ever-expanding command of both retro and modern electro-pop-rock aesthetics, methods, and instrumentation yielded a pristine and exciting new sound which quickly attracted the attention of the independent music scene. Sealions draws equal inspiration from the fuzzy guitars of ‘90s West Coast alternative, the bubbly synthesizers of English new wave and French house, and the emotional vocal harmonies of ‘70s American super-pop groups. Joined by drummer John Craig and bassist/guitarist Keith Edmiston in 2009, the band continues to float genre lines unapologetically between dance and rock music – a much needed catharsis for an Atlanta scene accustomed to garage, hard rock, and underground hip hop acts, and available internationally for the first time with the release of their first full-length album Strange Veins.