For as long as I can recall, people have always considered music as an escape, or a means of getting away. Who hasn’t wanted to just run from where they are, but didn’t have the means to do so at that moment in time? Music has always been there to cradle you into a different setting somewhere far from where you want to be. It is fitting that Seahaven‘s third full-length is titled Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only because it really is for the purpose of just escaping.
Listeners have had three years to revel in the cold that is Winter Forever which was very much punk-centered, having that familial tie to Ghost. Themes like being “familiar with the devil” on the track “Goodnight” off of Winter Forever and coming to terms with losing those you thought meant the most were incredibly prominent. With Reverie Lagoon, there has been a clear and stark transition from cold to warm. You can hear it in the reverb and cleanliness of the guitars and the way Kyle Soto uses his sometimes undistinguished voice powered by incredibly mature lyricism. This album is very hands off and allows the listener to drift through. It doesn’t require much thought, yet when you look into the lyrics of every song, there is meaning that can be taken away.
There are 14 songs, all ranging between one to six minutes long. Listeners are polarized from the start with “Fifty Four” and its subtle delivery of waves crashing amidst. About halfway through, you are greeted abruptly with “Flesh”, the most upbeat and driving song on the album. “Flesh” is a great song, but it draws the listener away from a place they had wandered off to, like a harsh reminder that they will have to get back to reality eventually. Overall, every song contains really simple yet powerful riffs drenched in reverb and dreamy vocals. It takes listeners to a somewhat one-sided destination with not much variety. Still, escapism nonetheless.
Something that really shocked me while I was listening was that a track like “Solar Eclipse” could possibly exist, and I mean that in the best sense possible. Seahaven stripped down to a piano ballad driven by Soto’s extremely sad and guilty voice. It shows that they are not limiting listeners to escaping by means of just breezy guitars. You have upbeat songs like “Flesh” or subtle yet powerful, driving drums in “Love to Burn”, stylistically resembling bands like Death Cab for Cutie.
If you compare Reverie Lagoon: Music For Escapism Only to Winter Forever or Ghost, of course you’re going to think that it falls short. However, if you take the record for what it is, no comparison provided, you’ll find a really enjoyable, fresh album that really is effective. The band definitely drew inspiration from their Southern California atmosphere. They are taking listeners somewhere warm and carefree, to a cool lagoon under the hot sun. Seahaven captures you and almost guides you through your endeavor of getting away, a brief vacation. If you need a getaway, this is it.