The Seshen
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The Seshen

Oakland, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010 | INDIE

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2010
Band EDM Soul




"Listen In: The Seshen, 'Shapes""

Listen In: The Seshen, 'Shapes'
By Max Savage Levenson
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015

Sometimes using electronics makes life much easier for musicians. You can replace your band with backing tracks; you can make hella cash touring as two people instead of five; you can click a button on your Macbook and pretend to DJ while the computer handles the rest (yes, it happens).

But for bands like the Seshen, the computer doesn't offer an easy way out, but rather an opportunity for exploration. On both their 2012 self-titled LP and last year's Unravel EP, the Bay Area seven-piece utilize electronics and digital manipulation to add unexpected textures and sounds to their maximalist compositions, focusing on the sonic horizon where the human instrument ends and the artificial takes over.

Listen in as vocalist Lalin St. Juste, bassist/producer Aki Ehara and percussionist Mirza Kopelman explain the editing process behind their riveting track "Shapes," their love of weird, unstable pitches, and the tightrope act they call the "human-robot conundrum." And don't miss the band this coming Tuesday, Sept. 29, at Leo's, when they play the final show of their "Love, Oakland" residency. - KQED Arts - September 24, 2015

"Sessions with The Seshen"

Though the members of many bands consider themselves to be family, the Seshen is composed of a group of musicians who are about as close as one can get without being bloodrelated. Bassist Aki Ehara and singer Lalin St. Juste are married and the band rehearses at the couple's El Cerrito home, which belonged to Ehara's grandmother. Ehara, producer Kumar Butler, and keyboardist Mahesh Roa are all Richmond natives and former classmates.

Akasha Orr, the band's other vocalist, and percussionist Mirza Kopelman are longtime friends of Ehara and St. Juste. And even though the band found drummer Chris Thalmann through Craigslist, Thalmann and St. Juste realized that they went to school together in Altadena, an LA suburb, as well as at UC Santa Cruz. "But Lalin is two years younger and I was way too cool to associate with someone like that," Thalmann teased.

The members of the Seshen crack each other up easily, which put the other musicians and venue staff at ease during soundcheck at Leo's before their performance last week. They have been playing at the North Oakland club every Tuesday for their September residency, "Love, Oakland," and seem to have made themselves at home. As the percussionists tested their instruments, Orr removed a healing crystal from her purse and performed a brief ritual — to clear negative energy from the space, she said, dragging the aromatic smoke of palo santo over the other bandmembers' clothes.

The musicians spend their free time together and agree that making music almost never feels like work. "Even practice feels like hanging out," said Ehara as the band gathered in the green room. "Usually, one of us has to be taskmaster and keep everyone on track because otherwise we'll act moronic the whole time."

Since the release of its debut, self-titled album in 2012, the Seshen has become well known in Oakland's music scene for its energetic blend of indie pop and neo-soul with electronic production. Unravel, its 2014 EP, saw the band shift its focus from down-tempo tracks to the upbeat sound that now characterizes its live shows. Throughout Unravel, St. Juste and Orr's rich voices radiate warmth as fat baselines and crunchy synth riffs swell into rhythmic grooves, while sparkly keys and percussion instruments ebulliently dance over husky, reverberating vocal samples. As the principal composer, Ehara skillfully fosters collaborations among the bandmembers so that each person has an opportunity to demonstrate his or her chops without competing. Ehara said that he intentionally sought a large ensemble in order to translate its recorded sound to its live performances.

"We seem to get typecast as a giant band," Kopelman explained. "But we all have our specific parts. ... We don't have anything extra for bigness' sake."

The Seshen has been using its Leo's residency to experiment with new material that it's currently workshopping for its upcoming album, due out in 2016. This has imbued its performances with a sense of spontaneity that was sometimes previously lacking. Some of the band's past shows have been so tightly rehearsed that they hardly deviated from the recorded versions of its tracks, but performing weekly at the same venue has pushed the musicians to explore new sounds. St. Juste opened last week's set with a stripped-down Amy Winehouse cover that showcased her expansive vocal range. Later, during a particularly high-energy point of the night, Roa launched into a jubilant keyboard solo while the rest of the band danced on stage.

In addition to serving as a creative catalyst, the residency has given the musicians the opportunity to play with other local artists that inspire them. Kev Choice, an influential multi-instrumentalist and rapper, opened the first "Love, Oakland" show and drew a huge turnout.

"Everyone [who has played with us] has a passion they're going after and contributing to the community in some way," said St. Juste. For instance, jazz singer Naima Shaloub, last week's opener, frequently works with incarcerated women. And Lila Rose, whose recent album We.Animals. deals with environmentalist themes, plays with the Seshen next week.

Though "Love, Oakland" takes place in the middle of the workweek, the Seshen has filled up Leo's every Tuesday. The residency, the bandmembers explained, is a way of thanking the city that nurtured their creative growth. "We came up with 'Love, Oakland' as a way to celebrate what we're experiencing in this community," said St. Juste. "Anytime we do a show in Oakland, people are so receptive," Kopelman enthused. "It feeds our energy and makes us love this place even more." - East Bay Express - September 23, 2015

"Women Runnin It: Interview with Lalin St. Juste"

Lalin St. Juste can sing. In a way that your ears cannot fail to hear. A young Haitian-American woman, Lalin fronts The Seshen, an electronic/soul band whose sound emphasizes emotional resonance. After rising to the top of the Bay Area music scene, they were recently signed to Tru Thoughts, a record label out of England, and are earning a national and international following. This September, they launch “Love, Oakland,” a month-long Tuesday residency at Leo’s Music Club which also spotlights some extremely talented local artists. According to St. Juste, “Love, Oakland” is about celebrating “a place, a community, and an artistry which is hard to ignore.”

I first heard Lalin sing when she was with Rara Tou Limen, a powerful Haitian dance company and culture keepers here in Oakland. She was part of the small choir of Haitian singers who would change the chemistry in the room everytime they’d sing the souful, deep music for performances, classes, and rituals. She has also played with an indie rock band, St Tropez. Now with The Seshen, Lalin has performed with acts such as Macy Gray, Les Nubians, Thundercats, Hiatus Kaiyote, and Tune-Yards. She also did the vocals on Karen Seneferu’s potent and searing video “From Fruitvale to Florida: Strange Fruit No More.” In addition to her own songwriting and singing, Lalin tells us that she is launching a therapeutic songwriting group for young girls. In this interview, Lalin is forthright and open about the power of music in her life and what moves her.

Oakulture: What is the concept behind your upcoming September residency at Leo’s named “Love, Oakland”?

Lalin: Love, Oakland is about celebrating a place, a community, and an artistry that is hard to ignore. Oakland is powerful and I found my voice in it. I played at BART stations and started a couple bands until The Seshen was formed with my partner Aki and close friends. Being an artist is a vulnerable existence and the love Oakland has shown to The Seshen is, to me, what dreams are made of. So, in turn, we are reflecting this love back by curating a show every Tuesday that features artists who are passionate and who have big, beautiful hearts.

Each night, you step into a different world with heavyweights like Kev Choice, Naima Shalhoub, Lila Rose, a new band called Meernaa. Beyond the music, we’re also offering chances to win gift cards and gear from a few different Oakland spots such as Kingston 11, OwlNWood, Oaklandish and a gym called Four Elements Fitness as a way to highlight and support local businesses.

Oakulture: I used to hear you sing with Rara Tou Limen, and every time, your singing would crack the sky open. Can you speak about the influence of Haitian music on you?

Lalin: Rara Tou Limen has been a blessing in my life. The influence of traditional Haitian music is basically like a missing puzzle piece. It fulfills a hunger that had existed within me. It creates a reckoning with what I’ve known but have forgotten and with what I love but have been distanced from. It has challenged me, it has brought me to tears, it has moved me to heights previously unknown. Haiti and Haitian culture is special . . . and in Oakland with Portsha Jefferson and Daniel Brevil and the company of Rara Tou Limen, I finally delved into it in ways I hadn’t before.

Oakulture: Many of your songs and the projects you have supported over the years address pain, loss and human suffering. What role does spirituality play in your music?

Lalin: A few years ago I realized that my first time singing was in tribute to my maternal grandmother, Vertulie Dame Valbrun, who had just passed away. I had been devastated by her death. I was five and had spent most of my days with her. But what I hadn’t realized up until recently, was that she had given me my voice. I was a quiet child, but I have always loved to sing. The spirituality in my music is related to my connection with my ancestors, with the earth, with what is beyond me. I feel it all when I sing. I feel the sense that there is a force that lifts me up.

Oakulture: Who are your role models? Who do you admire artistically and why?

Lalin: I admire artists who are unafraid to be vulnerable and authentic. Erykah Badu is a huge example of this. I can feel her heart as she sings. Bjork is another role model for her infinite expansiveness.

Oakulture: Do you have any Oakland heroines?

Lalin: There are so many powerful women that I could name but just a couple would be Karen Seneferu because her art and mere presence rocks my world. And I get chills just thinking about Zakiya Harris . . . she’s quite a changemaker who can really rock the stage. There are countless others.

Oakulture: As a songwriter and frontwoman, what leads your artistic process?

Lalin: I’m compelled by the world around me. I’m fascinated by how we view each other, by our various stories and identities. I’m moved by injustice but also by our beauty. It all pushes me to write and sing. My artistry has also paved the way for me to be my truer self, to speak when for so long I never thought I could be heard. It’s continuously healing.

Oakulture: When can we expect a full-length album from The Seshen? Do you have any upcoming side projects?

Lalin: We’re planning to release our next album in 2016! In the meantime we’ve got a remix ep out now on Tru Thoughts. I’m also inching myself towards performing solo again, which you may get a sneak peek at during our residency! So look out for me and my guitar. - Oakluture - August 28, 2015

"#Soundcheck New Music: Check out the 'Unravel' EP from Afropop Septet The Seshen"

If you've been paying attention, you already know why you should be excited about new music from The Seshen. The Oakland based septet produces a breed of omni-genre hyper dense music that proudly defies classification or categorization. They've been teasing out tracks from their latest EP, but it's finally here. So clear some space on your floor to dance, get your headphones on, and get lost in The Seshen's Unravel EP.

From the title track, the band's lush mix of live and electronic elements is dizzying. The off beat snaps are buried under a massive beat courtesy of drummer Chris Thalmann. Synths burble up and crash like waves, and floating atop the whole thing is singer Lalin St. Juste, whose dueling vocals with Akasha Orr give Aki Ehara's meticulously produced mess an undeniable emotional anchor. “Oblivion,” on loan from their debut full length, features the EP's strongest melody, rising above the digital effects and flourishes that threaten to overwhelm the vocals at all times. The obsessive detail and polyrhythmic layering are bursting at the seams and nearly collapse under the weight of their own ambition half the time, but The Seshen's greatest skill has always been their ability find the line between disorienting and exhilarating.

“Turn” features the most human elements. Thalmann's virtuosic drumming steals the focus from the programmed beats that dominate much of the rest of the record. It's impossible not to move listening to this. The 6 song set closes with “2000 Seasons” in which Aki Ehara makes his synth productions sound damn near symphonic. Lalin St. Juste's effortlessly soulful vocals float over the whole thing. “Is this what you want? / the tick tock of the clock goes on...” Before it all comes crashing down under percussion and synth jamming and a tidal wave of noise.

The whole EP is available here and here now. If you care at all about your ears, you'll pick this up for them. They deserve it. - Afropunk - October 8, 2014

"The Seshen - "The Fall" Premiere / Song of the Day"

Everybody loves a good hook, right? Well, San Francisco seven-piece The Seshen know just how to craft one on their latest cut, "The Fall", premiering today on Best Fit.

The chorus in "The Fall" is painfully familiar from the get-go, swinging as it does between nursery rhyme melodies, but we are loathe to second-guess it when it's comprised from such eclectic fibres. Taking inspiration from psychedelia, hip-hop, pop, RnB, West African music, dub and indie rock, you can practically hear all of the band's inspirations fold into one another at the crux of this four-minute wonder. Syncopated beats, earworm melodies, electronic gloss and more all stick to a dubby bass backbone - reminiscent in parts of Little Dragon's radiant electro-pop though far more hypnotic and untamed.

Speaking about the song, vocalist Lalin St Juste said: "'The Fall' came through from the shadow-like presence of the past. You find yourself running, hiding, doing everything you can to not face the reality of the pain you've experienced and yet there's no other way to go but into it and through it."

With slots supporting the likes of fellow beat-heavy purveyors tUne-yArDs, it seems like The Sechen have come a fair way since their humble beginnings as a two piece in Ghana. Here's to hoping they've got nothing to be humble about in the future.

"The Fall" appears on the band's Unravel EP, released on 6 October (UK/ROW) and 7 October (US) via Tru Thoughts. - The Line of Best Fit - September 30, 2014

"The Seshen Make "Angular-Psychedelic-Beat-Driven-Electronic" Music"

You'll find no knob-twiddling here. The Seshen are a San Franciscan 7-piece that take influences from around the world and wrap them up into one electro-tinged package. Their EP Unravel is soon to drop on Tru Thoughts (October 6th/7th) and we've got the exclusive on the title track.

"We're an electronic band that loves many different kinds of music," they told THUMP. "We've been called soultronica, electro-pop, 'hip-hop inspired' even 'world music.' Angular-psychedelic-beat driven-electronic might be a good genre name for us, but we're constantly changing how we do things and are pretty wary of being labelled."

And don't get lost in the groove of the track, there's some heavy shit in the lyrics - "It's about the unraveling of relationships and even ourselves. There's a darkness that can set in when love becomes volatile and unpredictable. We can lose ourselves in the fight to hold onto love when the only thing to do is let go." - Thump - August 28, 2014

"The Seshen “2000 Seasons”"

Four just ain’t enough. After jumping back on the scene in February with their single, “Turn,” Bay Area collective, The Seshen, follow it up with a new single, “2000 Seasons.” No new news on their upcoming EP, but this new jawn is more than enough to shut me up for awhile. “… the story of self-entitled conquest. 2000 Seasons addresses the individual who believes he has a calling to attain what is rightfully his but loses himself in the process. The title of the song is taken from the historical fiction novel by Ayi Kwei Armah.” - Okayplayer

"Fall In Love with the new single "Turn" from Bay Area Electronic Pop Septet The Seshen!"

The Seshen were one of my favorite new discoveries of 2012. The Bay Area septet(!) possess a rare talent for combining giant pop hooks with some seriously abstract and boundary pushing undertones. There's something magic when a band can make the experimental make total sense. They're currently working on their new EP and we just got a taste with the first single “Turn.”

The track opens with warped and scratchy guitars and vocals that sound like they're played on a record that's spent a little too much time in the sun. (I will forever have an irrational nostalgia for my first turntable I salvaged from the side of the road when I was 13 that played everything just a little bit off.) They then explode into The Seshen's trademarked cool electronic pop. Aggressive, but still somehow soulful and always danceable. And just in case you got lost a little bit in the groove, they save a mind-bending breakdown for the end. So, that EP's coming soon, right?

- Words by Nathan Leigh - AfroPunk - March 4, 2013

"Interview: The Seshen"

The Seshen is a San Francisco Bay Area-based band that draws influences from an eclectic range of artists including Little Dragon, J. Dilla, Erykah Badu and Beach House. The 7 band members fuse hip-hop, soul, pop and electronica, producing an original sound that is not bound to any particular category. Check out my interview with them below.

1. How did The Seshen start out?
Aki and I had wanted to start a band for a while…we made a couple of attempts but it didn’t quite work out but the seeds for The Seshen were planted when we put some musician friends together for a fundraiser for Haiti. We continued to have house parties with great jam sessions and gradually enlisted friends, old and new, and it finally felt right.. Not long after our formation and a few shows,, we began working on our debut album, which we released a year ago. – Lalin

2. What motivates you guys to make music?
We’re inspired by everything we see, hear, feel, touch, experience vicariously through others… as well as, the kaleidoscope of genre-defying, really incredible underground/indie music that is surfacing. Music is how we express our conscious and subconscious selves and sometimes, therapy for what is happening in and around us. As extensions of our instruments, some things can only be expressed through sonic vibration. – Akasha

3. What do you guys think about the increasing popularity of electropop or even the term itself?
I think it makes sense that electronic music has become increasingly popular. I love the pop music format and I think that using unfamiliar sounds and textures can put a familiar sounding song or set of chords in a very different space. What draws me to electronic music in general is the fact that there is a really wide and relatively new palette of sounds to create and compose with. I think music fans can easily gravitate towards music that has pop sensibilities but is arranged with more modern abstract electronic sounds. A lot of the music that I’ve been enjoying as of late delivers on both the abstract/electronic as well as some of the more familiar pop forms.
- Aki

4. To people who have never heard of you, how would you describe your music?
A bass-heavy harmonic sojourn into a verdant sonic and lyrical panorama replete with synthesized textures, head-nodding rhythms, and silky vocals… different enough to stand out as a unique listening experience but familiar enough to groove to. – Mahesh

5. How was being based in the San Francisco Bay Area affected the band’s dynamic?
I may be a little biased saying this since I was born here, but I feel the Bay Area is one of the best places in the world to thrive as an artist. There’s history here. Not all of us are from Northern California and we’ve all been fortunate to congregate here at this point in time to make this band work and be successful in an environment that embraces who we are. – Kumar

6. Why the name The Seshen?
We struggled with finding the right name for a while. Finally, I was looking up Egypt and came across “seshen” which meant lotus flower. In particular, the blue lotus was used in ceremony and the lotus can be found in a ton of Egyptian art. It means rebirth and recreation. I was drawn to the concept of constant rebirth. – Lalin

7. What’s a little known fact about the band?
We are all super adoring and mushy with each other to the point of dorkiness. We are always telling each other how much we appreciate one another and how blessed we are to be working with such talented musicians. Sometimes we can’t believe how chill everyone is. There are no drama queens (or kings), and we have a harmony together that is rare to find in such a large group. Its a regular lovefest when we get a few drinks in us. We are really like a big family, except without the big arguments, door slamming, and stress!!! - Mirza

8. What do you guys do when you’re not performing?
Practice! – Chris

9. What new projects can expect from you guys?
We’re currently working on an EP of new material and will be leaking some new songs and remixes along the way. - Aki

-Gregorio Vincent - The Couch Sessions - March 8, 2013

"Weekender: This Weekend's Top Five Events"

The Seshen + Bells Atlas
Experimental, electronic bands are a dime — no, a penny — a dozen these days, which makes it all the easier to handpick the truly talented ones. Seven-piece Bay Area electropop outfit The Seshen stands out due to the prowess of its two vocalists, Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr, who evoke the velvet-soft yet slightly husky crooning of R&B high demigoddess Erykah Badu. Their soulful, echo-y vocals meld smoothly with the unearthly chillwave textures concocted by The Seshen's producer and bassist Aki Ehara, who masterminded the band's self-titled debut. Joining the band at The New Parish on Wednesday, Mar. 18, is fellow East Bay rising star Bells Atlas, which bridges the gap between indie rock, Afro-pop, and jazz, creating a uniquely warm and entrancing sound. 9 p.m., free.

- Lenika Cruz - East Bay Express - March 8, 2013

"The Seshen - 2000 Seasons"

If there ever was a perfect song to get you into this San Fran based group, “2000 Seasons”, is the perfect start with it’s hand in the cookie jar of all-possibility sound. Simply put this group has a tonne of sounds up it’s sleeves and as best exemplified with “2000 Seasons”, you never know what instrument is going to come next.

Look for The Seshen to release their new EP soon. Stream ”2000 Seasons” below. - Hilly Dilly - April 16, 2013

"New Track: The Seshen - "Turn""

Bay Area electro-pop collective The Seshen return with a new song called "Turn." The grandeur of sound screams for inclusion on a TV show soundtrack somewhere. - Giant Step - February 20, 2013

"Take a "Turn" With The Seshen"

It's been a minute since we checked in with the ladies and gentlemen of San Francisco group The Seshen. Luckily for us, they're still putting out their eclectic blend of electronic, rock, R&B and pop sounds that garnered our Bounce-Worthy seal of approval. Their latest output is the new track "Turn" and features the sound we first came to love, but this time with a bit more edge than we've been accustomed to from them. Full of synths that range from soft tinkling sounds to full-bottomed bass, the track creates a nice atmosphere for the song's delicate vocals and harmonies to shine. No word yet on where exactly this single will find a home (but we're crossing our fingers that a new album is in the works). Until we know for sure, press play and and listen to some Bay Area musical goodness. - Soul Bounce

"The Seshen - Turn"

What's so good?

There’s definitely some soul in the California sun, shining its life on the music. After stumbling upon KING and Bells Atlas, I was happy to receive this track from The Seshen from the Bay Area.

I was told “Turn” is about “the friction between closeness and the fear of being close to someone you love or want to” and how surviving this struggle can allow you to control your own vulnerability and capacity for love; this is an experience that most of us share, but the group approaches the concept in a refreshing way.

The Seshen has the voice of siren, poetic lyrics and an experimental soundscape, which in combination, will carry you away. I’d like to say we’re taken to their imagination, but the atmosphere is so vivid, you can’t help but visualize a place beyond the mind. I’m picturing a scene from Tarsem Singh’s The Fall, with an added effect of stars dripping down the sky, although I’d love to see the gorgeous cover art for this track animated as a music video.

“Turn” is one of those songs you should spend some time with to pick up on the details. Aside from the general play between percussive pop and a supernatural chorus, my favorite moment comes at the 2:08 mark — the echo of the vocals very much reminds me of the intonation of a classical Indian singer.

If you were wondering how The Seshen is able to create such a textured experience, it’s because there are seven multi-talented members. To learn more about the group, and for full lyrics to “Turn,” follow them on SoundCloud and Facebook.

-Anu Rana - Indie Shuffle - March 1, 2013

"The Seshen "Turn""

Some good news appeared in my inbox this morning, as it appears Bay Area collective, The Seshen, have plans of releasing a new EP soon. After the early 2012 release of their impressive self-titled debut LP, they regained my attention with their 4th quarter Joni Mitchell cover, “A Case of You.” Now they’re back in 2013, once again reminding me why I fell in love with their sound in the first place with this new single, “Turn” (well worth the wait). San Fran: Catch them live at Rickshaw Stop this Friday. - OkayPlayer

"On The Rise: The Seshen"

If Erykah Badu, Little Dragon, and Beach House, met-cute and made jazzy, passionate pop music together, the resulting mix might sound something like a song by the Seshen (as those are its main influences). The seven-piece Oakland band is known for its blend of sounds and regions, with robust musicianship by bassist Aki Ehara, drummer Chris Thalmann, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, Kumar Butler on samples, and Mahesh Rao on keys, filled out by fierce vocalists Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr. Though mostly, at this point, it's known for a little track called "Oblivion."

The electronic pop song, off the band's self-titled 2012 debut LP, employs the consistent Seshen method, a live rock band set-up with deeply soulful singing, cosmic hip-hop beats, and densely layered effects and samples.

Most recently, the Seshen remixed fellow On the Risers Trails and Ways' "Border Crosser." Next up, the band will drop "Turn," the first single off its upcoming EP, due later this year.

Description of sound: Our sound utilizes electronic textures and layers that seek to blur the distinction between the abstract and the familiar while incorporating influences from a variety of genres.

What piece of music means a lot to you: There's seven of us so there are many pieces of music that have moved us, some of which include: Mama's Gun (Erykah Badu), Voodoo (D'Angelo), Pink Moon (Nick Drake) and the works of Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, James Blake, Bob Marley, and Broadcast, to name a few.

Favorite local eatery and dish: Too hard to narrow it down to one!! We love Souley Vegan in Oakland, Pancho Villa in the Mission, and Zachary's Pizza (spinach and mushroom deep dish pizza).

Who would you most like to tour with: Little Dragon or Animal Collective would be amazing but more immediately it'd be fun to tour with some of the other Bay Area bands we love like Bells Atlas or DRMS.

-Emily Savage - San Francisco Bay Guardian - February 12, 2013

"(2) Dope to Sleep On: The Seshen"

I believe I’ve said this before but whatever… whenever my man Tunji suggests I listen to something new I dive right in with open ears. What can I say? On top of his ability to rhyme, the man just has a great ear for music. Case in point… The Seshen. A seven-piece band (led by vocals from Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr) straight out of the Bay Area. Citing Animal Collective, Erykah Badu, Little Dragon and J Dilla as some of their major influences, you get a taste of just about everything within their music. And while they’ve only released three songs (to my knowledge)… their debut album (which is set for a February release) is sitting mighty high on my anticipation list. Do yourself a favor and take a listen below. - 2DopeBoyz - January 10, 1012

"Bounce-Worthy: The Seshen"

It's lovely when you find something that you didn't know you wanted, but you're so glad to have found. That's how I felt when I stumbled upon San Francisco-based band The Seshen. Counting Little Dragon, Erykah Badu, J. Dilla, and Beach House amongst their influences, it's no wonder that I was drawn to this talented septet. Handling vocal and lyrical duties are Laline St. Juste and Akasha Orr and their voices are superb against the backdrop created by fellow bandmates Aki Ehara, Mirza Kopelman, Kumar Butler, and Mahesh Rao. Together, the multi-cultural crew make ethereal sounds that transport you to a different time and space and show you just what the future of music can be. They only have three songs to preview at the moment, but each shows different facets of their sound. "Oblivion" is definitely steeped in their indie rock influences, with distorted vocals and electronic samples abound creating a complex and interesting narrative. "Canvas" channels the electronic verve of Little Dragon, its synth-bass groove dripping with mood as the music swells and the ladies' honeyed vocals paint the song's story. And while those two songs were enough for me to take notice, it was the dreamy "Pieces" that really grabbed me. With vocals that harken back to jazz greats of yesteryear (or, most recently, Chrisette Michele) lulling you in, how could you possibly resist? Add to that the soulful and jazzy instrumentation that is just breathtaking and you have the perfect mix of old and new for the next generation. Being that the crew is California-based, they've done a few shows out west. Hopefully with the exposure that they'll surely get, music lovers around the world will be able to experience their music soon. To see just what I'm talking about, take a listen below to "Oblivion," "Pieces," and "Canvas" below and be sure to spread the word. - Soul Bounce - December 2011

"The Seshen: Oblivion"

How genre bending is this? Soul, Funk, Indie rock, and Reggae influences all combine to create a stand-out electro-pop sound that rocks the Bay Area week in and week out. Or this? Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Little Dragon, James Blake, Erykah Badu, J. Dilla, Flying Lotus and Beach House are the listed inspirations of a band with vocalists, keyboard, percussion, sampler, synchronizer, drummer, and bass player/sound engineer. Most of the time, more is just more, but in this case, more impossibly blends into an incredible and original sound that makes up the self-titled debut album of The Seshen, set to drop in February 2012. Spearheaded by Aki Ehara, a self-proclaimed music nerd and self-trained recording engineer, the band didn’t just find a niche, they created their own, and now we get to reap the benefits. Check out their new song Oblivion, below, and realize this band isn’t about to sink in that titular direction anytime soon. - Kick Kick Snare - November 26, 2011

"Localized Appreesh: The Seshen"

As is often the case these days, the Seshen grabbed attention with a video. The Bay Area band's first official music video – for its song “Oblivion” off the self-titled LP released earlier this year – has gained more than 10,000 views since it went up in June.

The black and white clip is like a mini art film, with a fuzzy countdown clock ticking off cerebral scenes of shadowy figures, singer Lalin St. Juste in an abandoned alleyway, and close ups of blinking eyes.

And then there's the song itself, a beat-driven pop song, with these echoing, soulful vocals, bouncy keys, and hypnotic layers of electro effects. Given all those harrowing echoes, you could picture the song (which has a sort of Little Dragon meets Erykah Badu feel) featured in horror flick, as the heroic female lead tears away from the chaos, running to safety.

This week, the Seshen plays for a good cause in Oakland: a fundraiser for the Women's International Fund for Education (W.I.F.E).

Year and location of origin: March of 2010 in El Cerrito, Calif. We all met or re-connected at Aki (bass player and producer)'s and his girlfriend Lalin (lead singer)'s house parties in El Cerrito. Lots of like minded musicians jamming in their basement led to the first incarnation and lineup of the Seshen.

Band name origin: Egyptian for blue lotus, a symbol of the sun and creation or rebirth. That, and it also sounds like "session".

Band motto: In the absence of an official motto, we'd say "Roast Beef".

Description of sound in 10 words or less: Beat driven electronic music that balances pop and abstraction.

Instrumentation: Vocals, keyboards, bass, drums, percussion and samples. Almost everybody has some kind of MIDI device or effects pedal in order to reproduce the layered electronic sounds of the studio album in a live situation.

Most recent release: Our self-titled debut dropped on February 28, 2012. It streams for free here.

Best part about life as a Bay Area band: Eclectic audiences, amazing musicians, great venues, different scenes (East Bay vs. San Francisco).

Worst part about life as a Bay Area band: Trying to be heard and remembered amongst all the other awesome musicians the Bay produces.

First album ever purchased: (Aki) I think the first album I purchased was Green Day's Dookie, which I got in the 5th grade.

Most recent album purchased/downloaded: (Aki) The last album I downloaded was TNGHT by Hudson Mohawke and Lunice.

Favorite local eatery and dish: In the year and a half it took to record the first album, we ordered the large veggie from Americana Pizza and Taqueria in San Pablo probably a million times. Honorable mention to the multiple bottles of Sriracha we topped them with.

-Emily Savage

With Fast Piece of Furniture, DJ Black
Fundraiser for Women's International Fund for Education
Fri/24, 9pm, $10-$20 sliding scale
Geoffrey's Inner Circle
410 14th St., Oakl. - San Francisco Bay Guardian - August 22, 2012

"The Seshen – Canvas (Remix) [Prod. Akiyoshi Ehara]"

Man, how do I describe my love of The Seshen. If you frequent the blog or read my writing on Soul Culture, you’ve seen me write several extremely excited post about The Seshen, examples 1, 2, 3, and 4. Their self-titled debut album, has been getting constant play from me since it’s come out — and my friend Jonathan I believe too, and it’s a great album that you should purchase here.

With that being said,

Aki Ehara (the producer/bassist in The Seshen) created this super cool remix of their track “Canvas,” from their self-titled LP. *love love love*


Download The Seshen’s debut LP here. - Rawe Mag - August 30, 2013

"LP: The Seshen – The Seshen (Stream)"

They’re fusing Indie-Pop with Soultronica with a sound akin to Santigold and Sonnymoon but San Fransisco hailing band The Seshen have offered an insightful look into their own direction with this, their new self-titled debut album. We first featured these guys back in November ’11, when they released their single ‘Oblivion’ – it’s exciting to see from that how they’ve shaped their full long player…

Musically rich, their album is brimming with elaborate arrangements – they interestingly combine arpeggiated chords with deep subs and dominant drum patterns. They also incorporate an ethereal Pop aesthetic – in parts (see: ‘Time War’) reminiscent of Ladyhawke. On vocals Akasha Orr provides a strong performance, displaying an emotional investment, gelling everything together.

It’s intelligible why The Seshen cite Little Dragon, Erykah Badu & J.Dilla as some of their influences – it’s all in there, just molded differently.

Listen and download ($5) below… - Pinboard - March 6, 2012

"Most Known Unknown: The Seshen"

Imagine the ethereal, dazed melodies of Beach House with a little more bump. And you may arrive at The Seshen.

The seven-member San Francisco-based is led by vocalists Akasha Orr and Lalin St Juste whose enchanting vocals bridge the gap between the sweet yet cerebral Mushinah and the spacey-sassy pipes of Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano.

The music is just as spacey and rich as Orr’s vocals. Full of complex yet delicately arranged soundscapes that display the influence of Erykah Badu, J Dilla and the aforementioned Little Dragon, who the band all list as inspirations for their sound.

A listen to the Seshen’s self-titled debut captures the band’s sound more than any words can. So, take a listen below. If you like what you hear, cough up the $5 and support ‘em: - Unprogrammed Minds - March 12, 2012

"The Seshen – The Seshen (Full Album Stream)"

Toward the end of last year, Bay Area-based band The Seshen caught our ear with their single, "Oblivion," which felt like an audible journey filled with heavy bass, electronic keys, hi-hats and captivating vocals. Just three months later, the seven-piece group has completed and released their first project. The 11-track LP features "Oblivion," as well as their other two releases, "Pieces" and "Canvas." All in all, the album is an impressive debut that sweeps and soars by way of all sorts of instrumentation, production and vocal arrangements. If you want to know what to expect before taking a listen, The Seshen put it best themselves when they stated that their music is a blend of "hip-hop, soul, pop and electronica, producing an original sound that is not bound to any particular genre," and that it "draws influences from an eclectic range of artists including Little Dragon, J. Dilla, Erykah Badu and Beach House." Stream the band's self-titled effort below, and head over to their Bandcamp to purchase it for just $5.

-Matt Morris - Hypetrak - March 6, 2012

"The Seshen [LP Stream]"

At the end of last year, I got put on to the refreshing sounds of 7 member Bay Area band The Seshen. Their electro-pop jam “Oblivion” had me hooked from first listen. Now we’ve got 10 more tracks to add to the mix, as they recently released their self-titled LP. You can stream it after the jump and cop it via their bandcamp. One rotation of the LP and you’re sure to join me in the realm of Seshen fandom. - Okayplayer

"The Seshen – The Seshen (Album Stream)"

You might remember me introducing The Seshen back in January for one of our most-recent (2)Dope To Sleep On posts. Left with only three songs to jam with over the past two months has had me wanting more. Thankfully the seven-piece Bay Area band comes through with their debut full-length! And after one solid listen they didn’t disappoint in any sense of the word. Check it out for yourself after the jump and cop it here. - 2DopeBoyz - March 6, 2012

"#SoundCheck: The Seshen Are Your New Favorite Bay Area Electronic Pop Septet (New Video)"

When you listen to as much new stuff as I do, the moments when you hear something truly new and unique are few and far between. The new San Francisco septet The Seshen perform that rare magic trick of doing something fresh without ever sounding like they're trying to. They blend so many sounds and ideas so seamlessly that picking it apart is like analyzing the ingredients in a seven layer cake. Just accept that the combination of parts is way better than eating 4 raw eggs or a teaspoon of baking powder on it's own. (Frosting by itself is the exception because it's always a good idea.)

The band is fronted by co-lyricists Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr with drummer Julian Pont, keyboardist Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, sampler Kumar Butler, and bassist/producer Aki Ehara. Drenched in icy reverb but backed by brawny dance beats, they're simultaneously chill and danceable. The dense production; melding of live instruments and synths, rides the line between mechanical and soulful. Or maybe it finds the soulful in the mechanical. Either way, their debut self-titled album (available below) is required listening for the miles deep groove of lead single 'Oblivion,' the swirling violin solo in 'Canvas,' and of course the surreal poetry of Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr. Sample lyric: “unshakeable my faith / untameable my rage / 'cause collared and chained / a lion is still a lion even when covered and caged.” And if St. Juste and Orr's vocals don't reach inside your soul then your ears are broken. The Seshen's biggest problem is that you can never experience the thrill of hearing them for the first time again.

- Nathan Leigh - Afropunk - June 11, 2012

"PICTURE THIS: The Seshen @ New Parish, Oakland, CA 10/19/12"

The New Parish in Oakland hosted The Seshen, Con Brio, and Bells, three Bay Area bands that are blending different musical genres to create new music.

The Seshen took the crowd on a ride with their blend of electronic, R&B, and indie rock. With vocals by Lalin St. Juste and Arasha Orr, The Seshen creates a sonic landscape that pulls you right into their music. The song “Oblivion” from their self-titled album is an excellent example of the landscape they create. - The Owl - October 23, 2012

"The Seshen : Get Familiar"

Being part of a seven-deep group could be a blessing or a headache. With seven different people come seven different perspectives, ideas and personal influences. For Bay Area based collective The Seshen, who released their self-titled debut in March, their seven members express seven rhythmically harmonious points of view.

Consisting of bassist/producer Aki Ehara, drummer Chris Thalmann, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, synchronizer/sampler Kumar Butler and lyricists Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr along with keyboardist Mahesh Rao, The Seshen are an eclectic blend of what’s been missing in music for a while. Not only does the group combine and create music with great lyrics, they also combine and make music with great production with a timeless quality.

The band cite the likes of Little Dragon, J.Dilla, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus and Beach House as influences. Songwriter Lala also digs Santigold, Radiohead and jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, whilst singer Akasha cites Tori Amos, Nina Simone and Warpaint, percussionist Mirza taking inspiration from Afro-Cuban, Brazilian music, Reggae and Hip Hop.

With their debut album the group have garnered a considerable buzz around the blogosphere, even gaining the attention of acclaimed emcee Talib Kweli for obvious reasons. “The exposure we’ve been gaining is fantastic, fun and exciting,” Mirza enthuses. “We’re always emailing each other or texting with lots of exclamation points.”

The 11-track album has several highlights, including the debut single “Oblivion,” “Otherside,” Night Sky” and “Canvas,” however, a personal favorite comes in the form of “Static” [which almost didn’t make the cut for the album]. The song contains what a French blog called “a percussion massacre” at the end.

“My mind started going into the growing disconnection that goes on with people and I started thinking about my life and just the distance that was starting to grow between me and others, says Lalin. “Then thinking about how we live in our society with this connection, but also not… You can get very familiar with being apart.”

-Erin Duncan - Soul Culture - May 22, 2012

"Sound Check: The Seshen-Moved by Inspiration"

The Brand New Heavies, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sade, and Maze are some of our millenium’s best known bands who continue to groove us after decades on the scene. The band The Seshen is determined to make sure that their name is placed on that list. Rarely do we get a full-interview inclusive of all band members, so this opportunity was a treat. The band’s vocalists are Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr, who also lends talent on percussion with Mirza Kopelman. There is Aki Ehara, who plays bass and also produces for the band, and Mahesh Rao is on keys while Chris Thalmann is on drums. Kumar Butler brings it full circle as the band’s DJ on samples.

As they break-out on the scene with a fusion sound inspired by some of the greats, members of The Seshen share with some backstory on what inspires them, who they are often compared to and what advice they would give to fellow artists just starting out. Be amazed to learn how this California-based band found one of their members on Craigslist and how one member is able to balance a rising career as a member of The Seshen with a long-time career as an engineer. With a strong musicality and vivid presence led by the two lead vocalists Lalin and Akasha, we predict that The Seshen will be around for quite a while.

We introduce to you, The Seshen. Hello all. Thank you so much for talking with us today. This is one of our rare interviews with different group members of a band. Thank you for joining us. Tell us how you all met.

Aki: Well, I’d say me and Kumar have known each other the longest. We met while attending the same preschool and have been friends ever since. Mahesh was a good friend of my older brother’s from elementary school and we went to both elementary and high school together and reconnected while playing music at some house parties that me and Lalin had thrown. Lalin and I met on a study abroad trip to Ghana in 2005 through the University of California system. We both noticed each other at the airport because we were the only folks who had brought instruments and we became really good friends on the trip, hanging out and sharing music.

Lalin and Akasha had known each other through a mutual friend and when Akasha moved to the Bay Area from LA, we were just beginning to form the band and we invited her to play with us at a benefit party for Haiti that we put together at our house. After a few jam sessions we started to take the idea of having a band more seriously and it was shortly after that that I met Mirza at a mutual friend’s house party where I heard him playing percussion. Chris is the most recent member to join the band. We initially connected with him through Craigslist but he is also connected to us in that he attended the same middle school and college (UCSC) as Lalin. It’s amazing how small our world is and how some of us become reconnected by the slightest chance. What kind of music did you want to put together when you got together? Do you think that’s what you bring, or has that changed?

Lalin: We initially started out with soul, reggae, and funk-influenced music. We worked on some of my own songs and songs that Aki and I had worked on together. But the music evolved when we began to work on our debut album, The Seshen. There was a paradigm shift that occurred and we wanted to be current and standout. We embraced bringing in electronic elements and began to sculpt a sound that is particularly our own. You have been compared to some great acts. Who are some acts that you take pride in being influenced by?

Kumar: Erykah Badu is the biggest compliment. She’s an amazing artist and person and when people tell me they can hear her sound in our music I’m honored. Little Dragon is the biggest influence on the majority of people in the band. We’ve seen them grow and really appreciate what they are doing so people open their ears to bands like us. My personal favorite is J Dilla. As a band, where do you want to see yourselves five years from now musically?

Lalin: We will always explore our musicality in relation to our past influences and what the current landscape of music and songwriting is in present time. We want to continue to push our sound by taking risks and challenging ourselves and our listeners so that we can get stronger in our innovation and so that we can reach further down into who we are in a genuine, vulnerable, bold, and unique way. What has been different working as a band as opposed to your work you’ve all done individually or with other groups? What are the highlights?

Mahesh: Working with The Seshen has been incredible. It’s very motivating to be playing with such a large group in which music is each person’s main passion...

-Khadijah Z. Ali-Coleman - Soul Train - October 18, 2012

"The Seshen band undergoes musical rebirth, combining elements of live and electronic music"

While studying abroad in Ghana nearly six years ago, UCLA alumnus Aki Ehara noticed that he and one other person – fellow musician Lalin St. Juste – were the only ones carrying instruments on the trip.

After discovering their mutual interest in music, Ehara and St. Juste eventually became a couple and relocated to the Bay Area, where they started a band in early 2010.

That was just the beginning, and the two are still making beat-driven music together today as members of a seven-piece band called The Seshen. The group consists of bassist and producer Ehara, drummer Chris Thalmann, keyboardist Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, synchronizer and sampler Kumar Butler and lead vocalists St. Juste and Akasha Orr.

It was St. Juste who came across the word “seshen” and thought that its meaning suited the group.

“Seshen means lotus flower or blue lotus, specifically. It’s an Egyptian word that signifies rebirth and re-creation because the lotus flower goes in the water and then comes back up,” St. Juste said. “Since it sounds like ‘session,’ it can take on another meaning, like people having a session musically or just getting together.”

When searching for bandmates, Ehara said he specifically reached out to Butler and Rao and explained that the three have been connected since attending elementary and high school together. He said he and St. Juste met the rest of the members of The Seshen by hosting events for local musicians.

“In the beginning we would throw house parties, and we met a lot of musicians by playing together at jam sessions,” Ehara said.

St. Juste also said that some of the members of the group met each other when they came out to support a fundraiser for Haiti, which started the initial evolution of The Seshen.

The group’s sound now combines elements of live and electronic music and is also influenced by hip-hop, pop, R&B and indie rock as well as artists such as Stevie Wonder, Radiohead and Erykah Badu.

“We started out doing covers, but we were interested in doing something that was a little different and would stand out more and represent our influences,” Ehara said. “I liked the idea of having an R&B band, but there was also part of me that wanted to branch out and take on more contemporary influences like electronic music and indie rock.”

Ehara, who studied ethnomusicology at UCLA, said being exposed to different types of music from around the world as an undergraduate expanded his horizons and helped him develop his love for new and alternative genres of music as he prepared to start his own band.

After going through stages of rebirth and musical evolution, The Seshen released their debut self-titled album in February and also filmed its first music video for the song “Oblivion.”

Ehara and St. Juste said each song on The Seshen’s debut album, which took a year and a half to produce in Ehara’s home studio, began with a beat and was later paired with lyrics, vocals, percussion and keyboard.

“Aki (Ehara) would lay the foundation and start with a drumbeat or put some chords together. We would meet twice a week, and it was a really collaborative process,” St. Juste said. “We were discovering our sound throughout the process.”

Vocalist Orr described The Seshen’s sound as a marriage between electronic music and a pop sensibility. When working on the lyrics for the album, Orr said she and St. Juste would write separately and draw upon their own lives for inspiration.

“The song ‘Broken Lines’ came from a very emotive place within me and has a strong place in my heart,” Orr said. “Sometimes Lalin (St. Juste) and I would be in the same room listening to a track, and it was interesting to see how our ideas always meshed.”

With one album under their belts, the members of The Seshen are now looking forward to performing their music in the Los Angeles area. Ehara said they use electronic tools when playing live to ensure that the vocals synchronized beats of each instrument heard on their album are preserved.

As she looks ahead to the future for The Seshen, Orr said she and her fellow bandmates are working on a new song for an EP and also want to make another music video.

Ehara said their new material is more upbeat and more danceable and the group wants to build a following as they continue to explore new sounds.

“All of us are pretty open to wherever the music takes us,” Ehara said. “We’d like to go as far as we can with it – whether that means touring or some kind of label support. It’s encouraging to have people respond and tell us that they like the music.”

-Andrea Seikaly - The Daily Bruin - September 27, 2012

"The Seshen talks "Oblivion" Video and Musical Meetings"

In an age where artists sacrifice quality for quantity and opt for imitation over inspiration, San Francisco band The Seshen abstain from the culture of rapid-fire disposable music in favor of something that will etch itself into your brain. Bound to no particular genre, the tandem of bassist/producer Aki Ehara, drummer Chris Thalmann, keyboardist Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman, synchronizer/sampler Kumar Butler and vocalists Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr is a fusion of J Dilla, Erykah Badu, Little Dragon and Beach House. With the release of their self-titled debut album this past February, blogs and music fans alike stumbled across music with a purpose–it was refreshing, accessible and emanated their powerful influences without outright Xerox-ing their respective styles. Life+Times sat down with the band to find out how something so incredible could remain a secret for so long.

Life+Times: What does The Seshen mean?
Lalin St. Juste: “Seshen” is the Eygptian word for “lotus flower.” The name jumped out to me because of its meaning of rebirth and recreation. This band was a new step, musically, for me and has allowed me to expand creatively in ways I hadn’t before.

L+T: I understand that Lalin and Aki met in Ghana to form the foundation of the group. How did this concept come to fruition from Ghana all the way to San Francisco?
Lalin: When we met studying abroad and became a couple, a friend said she couldn’t wait for our album because we were both musicians. We were together for a few years before we actually started to make music together. We collaborated on a few songs, pulled some musicians together for a benefit for Haiti, and that was the very beginnings of The Seshen
Aki: Ghana was an incredible time and place for us to meet. We initially met at JFK airport and I remember noticing that we were the only two people who had brought instruments on the trip, from there we got to know each other through our love of music and sharing it with one another. I initially helped Lalin with her acoustic recordings when we both returned to LA from Ghana. After about a year in LA together we decided to make the move up to the Bay Area and continued to collaborate and work on recordings.

L+T: Were there “tryouts” to figure out who was going to be in the band?
Aki: The band mostly started from loose jam sessions with various musicians and we eventually formed the band with longtime friends Julian, Kumar and Mahesh. Akasha joined once we had the intention of forming a band and Mirza, the percussionist, was asked to join after meeting at a mutual friend’s birthday party.

L+T: The debut sounds like what would happen if you trapped Erykah Badu, J Dilla and Little Dragon in the studio. How did this sound come to form?
Aki: As I’ve continued to make music, I’ve developed a keener sense of what I like in all genres. What’s exciting to me about music in the internet age is that artists have more control over their music and are less prone to be put into boxes by record companies. With the internet, the musical world seems to be getting smaller, listeners seem to have more diverse musical tastes and it has become more acceptable to reference genres you like and put it all together in your own way. I think we’re all open-minded musicians and tend to follow anything that’s inspiring to us, regardless of genre.

L+T: Lalin and Akasha, can you talk about the decision to have two vocalists in the band? There aren’t any “diva” moments between the two of you are there?
Lalin: I enjoyed Akasha’s smooth voice and I knew she wanted to pursue music so I asked her to sing with us and thankfully she accepted. We are very close and so no, no diva moments here! We’re both very laidback and are friends, housemates, and band mates.
Akasha: I felt an instant connection with Lalin that has only matured and expanded. For me, I have found a sister… I get to create, grow, share with and learn from my sister.

L+T: Explain to me the process of creation.
Aki: I usually start with a basic idea of a song – whether it’s a set of chords or a drum beat. The vocals are brought in and that helps to determine the trajectory of the song; new sections of the songs are added and new parts are written by various members of the band. All of us spend a good amount of time arranging and sequencing the songs.

L+T: In a time where artists are bearing their souls on their albums (i.e. Adele), The Seshen appears to go a different route lyrically. It’s more poetic doesn’t appear to be very personal. What is the inspiration for how each song is written?
Lalin: Both Akasha and I come from poetic backgrounds and our aesthetic reflects more abstract ways of writing that lends itself open to interpretation. For example, “From Light” was inspired by thinking of my heritage – the first verse opens with stating we come from a precious place and within our struggle, we still manage to move forward...

-Andreas Hale - Life and Times - June 4, 2012


The Seshen (Self-Titled) - February 28, 2012 (Independently Released)

Single: "Oblivion" - 2/2012

Single: "Canvas" Remix - Akiyoshi Ehara - 8/2012

Single: "A Case of You" (Joni Mitchell cover) - for Undercover Presents - 9/2012

Single: "Turn" - 2/2013

Single: "2000 Seasons" - 4/2013

Unravel EP - October 7, 2014 (Tru Thoughts)

Unravel Remix EP - July 17, 2015 (Tru Thoughts)



Fronted by vocalist Lalin St. Juste, The Seshen is a seven piece band based in San Francisco. Mixing live and electronic elements and taking influence from eclectic sources including psychedelia, hip-hop, pop, R&B, West African music, dub, and indie rock, they create beat-driven compositions with a strong emotional core, a compelling sound that has hooked many fans and bloggers from first listen. Heavy industry interest has resulted in the band inking a deal with Tru Thoughts records to take it to the next level.

The Seshen's self-titled 2012 debut album, released via Bandcamp, has inspired comparisons to J Dilla, Little Dragon, Beach House and ErykahBadu, and they have also found themselves in high demand as a live act with support slots for the likes of Thundercat, Hiatus Kaiyote, tUnE-yArDs, Hieroglyphics and The Memorials (with Grammy award winner Thomas Pridgen).

The band that provides the immersive sonic backdrop for the complementary vocalists, Lalin St. Juste and Akasha Orr, are bassist/producer Aki Ehara, drummer Chris Thalmann, keyboard/synth player Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman and synchronizer/sampler Kumar Butler; between them creatively manipulating an array of technology alongside their more traditional instruments, with acoustic percussion including congas, bongos, timbales and more.

This close-knit group was born from the relationship between Lalin and Aki, a couple who met while studying in Ghana and bonded over music. On their return to the US, they lived in LA before moving to Aki's hometown of San Francisco, where they started collaborating on music together and gradually built the band through jam sessions with their circle of friends. Utilizing a heavily layered base of electronic textures, The Seshen complement the complex emotions and vivid imagery of Lalin's poetic lyrics, and blur the distinction between the abstract and the familiar, for a resulting atmosphere that is distinctively their own.

Finding the perfect home on the eclectic, soulful roster of Tru Thoughts records, The Seshen announced their signing to the UK label in early 2014 and subsequently released their Unravel EP on October 7, 2014.The band made their SXSW debut in March of 2015 and they are currently working on a full length release expected to drop in 2016.

Band Members