After successfully reinventing themselves and establishing a new and unified sound, Vondelpark (Lewis Rainsbury, Alex Bailey, and Matt Law) release their debut LP Seabed. That being considered, It’s not surprising that Rainsbury would call this record a coming of age album, and post-pubescence has never sounded so tactfully (and maturely) sensual.
The ever-relevant Sade once again permeates a new release, with other stylistic choices resembling James Blake and The xx, done so in a detailed and personalized manner. Heavily influenced by trending Quiet Storm Soul and Smooth Jazz, and married to lyrics surrounding “closure, being young and in love”, Vondelpark have hit the nail on the head and created something powerful.
Unfortunately today timing is everything, and Vondelpark’s first LP comes on the tails of other artists who were ahead of the curve stylistically (mainly Rhye and their acclaimed debut Woman). Rapidly evolving music trends aside, this is a strong debut; romantic, melancholic, dreamy…Seabed’s strengths lie in the minutest details, enamoring the listener with its ethereal affectation. The best example of this aspect isAlways Forever. Simple composition and acutely produced vocals leave space for emotion to seep through to the listener, making this track “the ultimate bedroom listen”, on a record that altogether fits that ambitious statement.
This shouldn’t be approached as only a reflection of R&B trends, but instead a heartfelt and meticulous record that can hold its ground in any context.