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We review the new single from Sea Fever – Dilemma

With a lot of New Wave pedigree, containing members of several well-known and well beloved bands, Sea Fever has quickly picked up the pace and got straight to work on producing familiar and intense beats. 

With alumni from Section 25 and New Order, there’s a very clear familiarity and experience in songwriting, production, and performance from the get-go. There’s none of the awkwardness of finding your feet that can come with a band’s debut. Instead, it’s a case of coming out swinging, and putting all that knowledge to good use. 

Sea Fever’s latest single, Dilemma, is no exception to this rule either. Filled from start to finish with that classic New Wave intensity and powerful 80’s synth vibe. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s just a re-treading of old ground either. 

The vocals are clearly the notable new territory, with both a male and female vocalist bringing a nice duality to proceedings. Digging a little deeper, the vocals both compliment and clash surprisingly well, with a delicate and angelic voice that hits high notes effortlessly. And the contrasting male vocals bring a more firm and powerful feel. The duet on Dilemma is an excellent marriage of the two, giving an excellently balanced performance that is slightly mysterious and incredibly powerful. 

Going with this is a synth track that is both parts, intense and complex. With a variety of different sounds and effects coming through in a tidal wave of notes. From start to finish there’s not a moment of let up, with every little corner of the track full of some kind of smooth note emerging from the speakers. In keeping with the duality of the vocals, the drums take on a similar counterpart to this, with a digital feel permeating them. They’re heavy and controlled, never getting too flashy and sticking to keeping a nice firm beat going throughout and complimenting the synth track to an almost robotically accurate feel. 

Finally, there are the funky-feeling guitars. These are a little subdued, but there nonetheless. They’re bringing a slightly disco styled feel with how twangy they are and just breathe a little bit more life and attitude into the track. Whilst not even close to being the centerpiece of the song, they still bring that core component to feel that would leave everything else lacking otherwise. 

That leads to the conclusion. Everything here is working in tandem, there is no central thing that takes the spotlight. Rather the song is that a singular feeling beast that would be incomplete without everything, but is never defined entirely by the sum of its parts. It’s an interesting feeling, but one that’s welcome for sure.

The idea is that it’s not just individual instruments, but one singular entity (the band itself) playing the song, and makes it hard to pick apart and break down the song’s individuality, without completely destroying it.