Lightly awakening audiences with a fully organic pop-rock arrangement, Sean Waterman’s new album Devices features a classic set-up but a series of uniquely poetic, melodically refreshing originals.
The opening track Rules showcases all of these qualities – short lines that feel familiar but also genuinely new in their rising tune and the clear, intriguing imagery utilised.
Sean resolves his progression with a rising anticipation and gentle drop for the hook, and all the while the brief yet striking track connects in a pure and authentic way.
Blending inspiration from the greats with a clearly interesting level of identity, and a likable way with expression, the project starts off strongly and continues to impress throughout. The vocal intricacies and the instrumentals, however, vary more than enough so to keep things interesting. Consider the world music rhythms and immersive chorus repetition of Bodies, a beautiful highlight, or the sudden energising shift of the title-track Devices after its first third.
By now Waterman’s voice and writing have a gorgeously recognisable air of character about them, and his song-writing impresses increasingly as each song pours through. The purity is quite breath-taking on occasion, and the unique meeting of folk-like tendencies with bigger-band structures works in favour of those forever refreshing melodies that always seem to emerge.
Waterman has essentially found a way of recrafting the musical formalities we all know and love, and for all of these reasons the Devices album is a stunning must-hear for 2021.
Other highlights include the Jack Johnson-style acoustic pulse of an intimate and emotionally revealing Easy, a timeless beauty for its pondering and realness, and the inspiring and somewhat heart-breaking, hypnotic groove that is Blue; an addictive and softly passionate track, showcasing powerful unity between the voice and the set-up as the story meanders.
“She’s like me – no cares, no qualms, no urgency…”