Seafret have come full circle. The Northern duo – Jack Sedman and Harry Draper – took on the world, releasing debut album ‘Tell Me It’s Real’ in 2016. It’s a record dominated by their move to London, signing to a major label, and plunging head-first into an industry they could scarcely understand.
Now it’s just them. Seizing their independence, the pair have returned to their hometown of Bridlington to work on something fresh, something new, something true to themselves. “I strongly believe that we’ve needed everything that’s happened to us,” insists Jack. “We needed to move down there, we needed to move away from home, be independent, and survive in London… We needed all that. We’re back here now… we’re like homing pigeons!”
Staying off-grid, Seafret left fans in anticipation for their next move. “We’ve been in the studio a lot, we’ve been writing all the time,” reveals Harry. “We just wanted to come off the boil a little bit. We were going flat out.”
“That’s why we haven’t rushed into anything,” his bandmate adds. “We’ve always been writing, but right now it feels like we are in control, and it all feels right. It just made it all a bit fresher for us and it shows in the songs, I think. There’s a real progression from the first record which is a nice feeling.”
New EP ‘Monsters’ was produced – and largely written – in Glasgow alongside producer Ross Hamilton, a figure whose quiet involvement helped spur on their debut LP. The material extends outwards in different ways – still resolutely Seafret, it incorporates darker moods, different instrumentation, all achieved in an incredibly natural way.
Jack explains: “Whereas before we were shut in a box where we wanted it stripped and acoustic, now we’re into a lot of different music. We listen to all different kinds of stuff we never used to.”
“Our songs develop naturally,” Harry says, “and they’re all quite different. It shows off different parts of the types of music we’re working on – from rock to more electronic sounds, with heavier samples. It’s part of what’s to come from the next record.”
It’s a shift in approach, but also a shift in mood. Seafret feel that little bit more relaxed, but also more determined. “The first album was inspired by moving away and missing everything. But then we’ve come back, so this album will be different. The tunes are different. The tunes are exciting.”
Removing themselves from the corporate machine, Seafret aren’t answerable to anyone but themselves. “We’ve always tried to rebel against that,” Jack insists. “As soon as we came out of that pressurised zone I just started writing songs, because I knew I didn’t have anyone telling us to write songs – I was just doing it for me.”
It’s a return to DIY ethics, something Harry embraces. “The whole process has felt much more rewarding as we’ve really been hands-on and decided what’s going on,” he says. “We’ve had to organise it all. Everything that happens – even artwork, social media, all that stuff – we’re not paying anyone to do it any more. Everything we put out has been hand-crafted.”
The duo have never been so productive, and so in-demand; a handful of live shows will see out the summer, before Seafret begin to bring their new album into focus. “It makes you work harder,” Harry says. “And actually it’s freeing as an artist to know you’re just writing the songs because you want to write the songs”.
“And you’ll be playing those songs for the rest of your life!” Jack interjects. “That’s why you have to be careful with what you release.”
“That’s the position we’re in right now,” his band mate nods. “We both love and cherish what we’ve made. I can’t wait to get back out on the road – it’s been too long!”