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"Brakelights" - Séamus | Review

Séamus delivers a much-needed dosage of serotonin on Brakelights — the wavy, synth-driving, track experience born and raised out of the strip club. The moody synths and delicate vocals share the room with a deep, thumping bass groove that would certainly have fans of Majid Jordan aroused, but Séamus is bringing you this euphoric experience for another reason — an examination into our own human nature.

Sex, the driving force behind our existence, feels so good because it’s necessary for survival. Séamus wants you to understand that while his lyrics and emotion recognize the excitement of his experience in the strip club, he does not turn a blind eye to the transactional fantasy unfolding around him. There’s beauty in this duality, however, as he sings “the way she turns me on it makes a mess...this isn’t real and I’m fine with it”. Brakelights lives in between these two worlds. It examines how capitalism mixes fantasy with reality, and how that mix can be sad yet beautiful at the same time. Just as Séamus gains control, feelings of arousal overcome him again. As he tries to hang on, the mid-track instrumental sections become kaleidoscopic. Textures and ambiances flow freely over each other, drowning him out as he slips into the fantasy. But he snaps back in for another verse, and the catch-and-release cycle continues for nearly four minutes.

With the release of Brakelights, Séamus gives us another rich experience only a month after his other new haunting single, Host, which arrived with strong support from SoundCloud’s editorial team, landing in Fresh Pressed playlists across the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.

Singer, songwriter, and producer Séamus creates introspective, genre-agnostic songs that feel entirely fresh, yet remarkably familiar. Pulling from r&b, pop, new wave, and experimental, he delivers tracks with cinematic atmospheres, vocal experimentation, and hypnotic synth work that show great depth and attention to detail.

Born Seamus McNamara in Marin County, California, the legend goes that he came out of the womb humming. He credits his early musical influences to Tracy Chapman, Jesse McCartney, and Crystal Castles while finding newer guidance in artists such as Corbin, Sampha, Joyce Manor, and Charli XCX. Before the Séamus project, he moved out to Los Angeles but struggled to break ground in the electronic music scene, and after 2 years he hit financial trouble. A move home was necessary. Up north, Séamus re-defined his musical goals — to add his vocal presence into the mix. With confidence in his new direction, he moved back down to LA and got to work.

Séamus launched in late 2019 and quickly received interest from France-based label and tastemaker brand, Kitsuné Musique. “Soft” was released with Kitsuné in early 2020. Since then, he has been busy not only writing, producing, and recording, but developing a visual character that embodies his music.

His character is a masked being — haunting and melodramatic — that serves as an allegory for the “mask” of online communication and human connection. “It all started as a way to create shock value,” says Séamus. “Slowly the character started to influence the way I wrote songs. I felt I could be more playful and dramatic since the words were coming from this character and not me. I could write a song about paying for a connection in a strip club, feeling like I’m being infested by an ex, or self-loathing over lost love and not feel responsible for how ridiculous or one-sided they got. Even though these were my experiences from the past five years I was able to dramatize them through the masked character.”

With the music and character finally coming together for the 23-year-old Séamus, this is his story thoroughly developed.

Press Release from Pure Like Honey

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