Miami quartet Seafoam Walls blend a mix of genres to create woozy, effortlessly cool guitar tracks.
Recent single ‘AI’ was released in October and perfectly showcases the band’s self-dubbed “Caribbean Jazzgaze” style – a mix of jazz, shoegaze, rock, hip-hop, and Afro-Caribbean rhythms. The song speaks to the not-quite post pandemic world we’re living in, as singer/guitarist Jayan Bertrand muses about idealism, accountability, regret and rejection against restless instrumentals which drive the track to a cathartic halt.
Not necessarily conforming to one genre, ‘AI’ is well worth adding to your playlists – and acts as the perfect teaser for Seafoam Walls’ debut album, XVI, which is out on Friday (12th Nov).
RIOT: We’re big fans of your latest track, ‘AI’! What was the primary inspiration behind the track?
SW: A desire to sound different. I grew up in an era of garage/indie rock and a lot of it started to sound too similar to me. Bands like White Denim had the perfect balance of unorthodox song structure with all the garage rock ingredients. The transition into a jazzier sound on their album “Last Day of Summer” showed me that I could also be as versatile. I aimed to write a song that didn’t use the 3/4 or 4/4 time signature while avoiding chord progressions with 3 chords or less.
You have previously described your sound as ‘Caribbean Jazzgaze’, will any other surprise elements be thrown into your debut album, XVI?
I think the songs that have yet to be revealed all have their own identities. The singles that are already out always perplex people because they don’t know how to classify it. For the new listeners, that’s a surprise on its own. With the addition of electronic drums, the fans who have been with us from the beginning also get to hear the music from a new angle.
Seafoam Walls originally started as a solo project, how did it grow from that to a fully-fledged four piece?
I wanted to play live and I didn’t have the equipment or knowledge to play along with backing tracks. The band has gone through several lineup changes before reaching the one we have today. Dion even played bass before switching to electric guitar.
When did you learn of Thurston Moore’s fandom? And how do you respond to plaudits like that?
I believe it was November of 2020. I met his fiancé during jazz night at The Center for Subtropical Affairs. I gave her a link before parting ways and days later we were setting up a meeting with Thurston to hear the whole album. Hearing plaudits like that from people I admire always feels reaffirming. Thurston is one of the pioneers of his craft and I gravitate towards that energy.
What’s next for Seafoam Walls? Is there any chance of catching you in the U.K. in the future?
At the moment I am anxiously awaiting the drop of our debut album! I’m hoping it does well enough to get us across the States and, hopefully, overseas. I’ve been told a few times that we’d do well in Europe so I think the U.K. is definitely on our radar.
Seafoam Walls’ Debut album, XVI, is out on 12/11/21