DEAR SEATTLE – Don’t Let Go
Released: 15th February, 2019
DEAR SEATTLE Line up:
Brae Fisher | Vocals/guitar
Jeremy ‘Jez’ Baker | Bass guitar
Lachlan ‘Simmo’ Simpson | Guitar
Josh McCoy | Drums
DEAR SEATTLE online:
These fellas have been rocking around the scene going on a few years now, and we finally have a debut album! It’s been a gradual process, starting 18 months ago with no real plan as to where the band were going with it. But they’ve come out the other side and Dear Seattle have produced an 11 track album with songs that could each be standalones.
Don’t Let Go starts off strong with ‘When I’m Gone’. We’re given clear vocals and an addition of instruments that layer the build-up. They’re gritty, but not loose in their sound and they hold something back until the chorus, and then it all pours out. It’s catchy punk music with hints of a love song.
This is a hard truth to put out there, and the diehard fans might not agree but from a critical point of view and looking at the album in its entirety; every song on Don’t Let Go sounds the same. The same sort of chord progressions, the same sort of shouty sing-a-long choruses, the same sort of vocals. Don’t get me wrong, individually they are wonderful, emotionally bolstering, fun songs; but put one after the other they just don’t work. The songs bleed into each other and you can’t tell if it’s the next track or if you just zoned out for a bit. Dear Seattle use the absence of some instruments to create a lighter sound, and it sounds good! But it’s not enough light and shade to give listeners depth over the entire album.
In saying all of the above, there are some noteworthy songs: ‘Maybe’ has a chorus that you can instantly pick up and sing for the rest of the day – you won’t be able to get away from that one; ‘Broke and Hungry’ has a bit more variety in terms of chords and the riffage is a bit heavier. And then we get to ‘A Modest Mind’ which feels like what the band had been building to through ‘Broke and Hungry’, yet it isn’t the last song. This track has some minor notes that really give an extra edge and the boys go full punk rock in the last 20 seconds. It’s too bad it’s for such a short time because those 20 seconds feel like where Dear Seattle should’ve gone with the whole album.
But the songwriting is where Dear Seattle succeed. Thoughtful and relatable concepts that, strung together as they are, neatly sum up the world of young adults living in 2019. As frontman Brae Fisher sings in ‘Try’: “When you’re dead and gone, where has the money gone?” Which is, of course, the underlying thought behind everyone’s ‘treat yourself’ days. So, they’re on point in that respect.
Keeping in mind that this is Dear Seattle’s debut album, it’s not a bad one. There’s room for improvement which is great because you can clearly hear they have that spark. The studio to stage transition is so minimal you know exactly what you’re going to get, and the energy that comes through the album is going to be intensified at least two-fold live.
So take this album song by song and really spend time dissecting each track, because that’s where the real gold is.
Dear Seattle – Don’t Let Go tracklisting:
- When I’m Gone
- Daytime TV
- Bigger Than My Brain
- Let Me Bleed
- Broke and Hungry
- A Modest Mind
- I Keep Dreaming