At 8 tracks long is difficult to say exactly what Sinatra is. Too long to be classed as an EP, too short to be classed as an LP (unless you’re Radiohead, of course).
This probably shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, however, because the very music Seldom Party makes is equally difficult to pin down.
Is it Folk music? Is it Electro? Is it Lo-Fi?
The answer is both yes and no to all of the above. Seldom Party – aka Will Kendrew – is a little bit of all of those and whole lot more besides.
So then, if we can’t tell you exactly what genre it is, and we can’t tell you exactly what format it is, let us tell you what we do know about Sinatra; It is completely fucking ace.
It will keep you coming back to it again and again, originally to try to figure it out and, once you have given up on that idea, just to sit back and bask in it’s beauty.
It opens with the curious ‘Ghost At The Piano’ which is stark and eerie. The echoey vocal twists over and between the tinkling piano notes like smoke through the air. It is surely as delicate and as understated an opening track as there has ever been.
From there on in things get really interesting. ‘Good To Me’ is haunting and spacious and really rather lovely.
‘I Will Sing’ is an extremely moving love song which sees Kendrew plead ‘Help me out and let me in / Through the creases of your skin / Through a kiss we will begin’ over a finger-picked electric guitar. It sounds a little bit like Gomez and a little bit more like Fink but not entirely like either of them.
‘My Literary Kingdom’ is maybe the catchiest, most instant song here – courtesy of an exceptionally good chorus which flows over the fragile electric guitar as naturally and calmly as a gentle tide laps the shore on a peaceful sunny afternoon.
‘I Am A Diva’ has strong hints of Massive Attack, Moby and even early Elbow about it whilst ‘Raise Your Hand’ is much more folky and faster paced than much of what proceeds it.
The genre merging might have made for a much more awkward, difficult listen if it wasn’t for Kendrew’s uncanny ability to marry so many different styles in such a seamless fashion that it actually flows along rather nicely.
In true Seldom Party fashion, however, just as you think that you are beginning to get a feel for this record, the final track ‘Your Love Is Gone’, grabs you by the bollocks and reminds you that things are never that simple.
It is frantic and kinetic, features horns – yes horns – and is catchier than a cold. It certainly isn’t pop but it is as close to it as Seldom Party are likely to get and after the serenity and relative calm of the rest of this record this track really comes as a shock to the system and adds yet another feather to Kendrew’s cap.
Like a Heptathlete deals in a multitude of events, Seldom Party deals in a multitude of genres and excels in all of them.
So how do I sum Sinatra up, then?
Well, it certainly isn’t an EP or an LP but a juxtaposition of both. It certainly isn’t Folk, Electro, Experimental, Lo-Fi or Indie but a fascinating amalgamation of all of them.
The one thing that it most definitely is, however, is a mind-blowing debut from a very exciting new talent – what more do you really need to know?
– David Tinkler
My Literary Kingdom
Sinatra is released on 13th May and is available for pre-order here (if you pre-order you get an immediate download of 2 tracks)
To read our interview with Seldom Party click here