SeaWitches (Jo Herring, Laura Caldwell and Sophie Nicole Ellison) seem to have been on the fringes of the Liverpool music scene for quite some time now, lurking in the shadows whilst perusing their own musical path. The big surprise for us is that their latest release the ‘Tear Back the Sky’ mini album/ EP is in fact only their second official release.
Somebody once described SeaWitches to us as ‘experimental folk’ a term which, to be quite honest didn’t exactly have us soiling our trousers with excitement. On reflection and after becoming au fait with the bands work we can only conclude that this person was undoubtedly a near clinical cretin. Namely, because SeaWitches output to date sounds nothing remotely like ‘folk’ to our ears, more a mixture of dark menacing literate art-pop with vaguely Gothic undertones… imagine a less petrified sounding early incarnation of The Cure, jamming with the Bunnymen with female vocals. It’s a mesmerising sound deep enough to dive into and get lost amidst a maze of twisting melodies, weaving angular guitars and reverberating Hooky meets Simon Gallup bass slavos.
Whilst ‘Tear Back The Sky’ seems to be on nodding terms with some of our favourite female fronted bands of yore, The Slits, The Au-pairs, Siouxsie, The Delta 5, and The Passions SeaWitches certainly stamp their own singular musical identity on proceedings and are refreshingly dissimilar to the plethora of bromidic, spirit crushingly dull ‘on trend’ artists, both locally and nationally.
Of the two tunes we’ve featured ‘Stars’ is a bleak slice of haunting guitar jangling goodness, a vision of C86 viewed through a dark lens but illuminated with a beautiful pop sensibility. Singer Joe Herring tells us that ‘Stars’ was actually the first song the band wrote, many moons ago – “I’ve kinda had a bit of a love hate relationship with the song as sometimes I’ve not appreciated its naïve charm and brightness, but when Sophie (formerly of now defunct VPME faves Wet Mouth) joined us and wrote her great guitar part it breathed new life in the song for me, and you know I love great pop songs.”
The second featured track from the Ep the more strident ‘Black Bark’ inspired by ‘Under Milkwood’ is a potent and intense example of literate post punk at its very best.
Mystical, melodic and bang on the money it’s time to be bewitched by SeaWitches. You can purchase the EP below via bandcamp.