Toronto artists Sebastian Fleet and Count Oak team up for a 7” release on Vancouver label, Kingfisher Bluez. The two singer/songwriters tout a similar bleak and mournful vibe with their respective solo projects. Together the sound is no different, as they create an ambitious mélange of folk and ambient music.
“Drowning” instantly grabs the listener with its blunt juxtaposition of folky acoustic guitars against weirdo sci-fi filters and effects. The odd mixture feels both surreal and earthy which caters to the song’s sometimes dystopic lyrics. Lines like, “Chocolate drops and rainbow candies are falling from the sky/ All you want is blood,” paint an image of a backwards and disintegrating world. Sebastian Fleet lends his soft vocals but avoids a generic indie-folk tone by delivering interesting phrasing and memorable lyrics. The haunting outro with the chanting lyrics, “You’ve been infected now,” is creepily catchy and, indeed, infectious.
The B-side, “Fishing” is less experimental and opens with an intricate and jazzy acoustic riff that’s close to something in the likes of José González. Again, the lyrics are bleak and abstract but help create the song’s haunting and calming quality. There is another dose of the experimental with the use of an echo-y stomp that sounds like a door slamming.
The psych-folk tendencies on Sebastian Fleet + Count Oak’s first 7” display the band’s already unique and distinctive sound, something difficult to claim in a day and age of pastiche and revivals. A full-length album is slated for release later this year and it will be interesting to see if Sebastian Fleet + Count Oak can retain their much-acclaimed originality. With the official album title, O Sun of Muddled Mind and Distant Space, it seems like they will.