Band of the Day

2012.03.12

Sennen

Dramatic soundscapes of dreamy pop and edgy post-rock
I'm fading away, we're falling apart. I'm broken with you, 'cause you're deaf and I'm blind.
lyrics from A Little High

Formed in Norwich, England in 2002, Sennen is a four-piece post-rock/shoegaze band that's currently based out of London. Inspired by dark and atmospheric bands like My Bloody Valentine, Mogwai, and Spiritualized, Sennen are known for their largely instrumental rock compositions. Their first record, a 7-track mini-album called Widows, was released on Hungry Audio Records in 2005. It was met with critical acclaim, and landed a spot in Drowned In Sound's Top 50 Albums of 2005 feature. Sennen's first single, “Blackout” was released in 2007, and earned them support slots for the likes of Editors, Explosions In The Sky, and Ulrich Schnauss. They went on to record their debut full-length album, Where The Light Gets In, with producer Pat Collier (Primal Scream), and it was released in 2008. Their cover of New Order's “Bizzare Love Triangle,” from their 2009 Destroy Us EP, was featured on the US TV drama, One Tree Hill. Their sophomore album, Age of Denial, was released in the UK in 2010, and on Minty Fresh Records in the US in 2011. Sennen is currently recording their third full-length album with producer David M. Allen (The Cure), which will be released in the Spring of 2012.

Are you suffering from Music Attention Deficit Disorder? The symptoms: skipping a song after the first ten seconds. Never listening to a full album in its entirety. Keeping music in the background while multi-tasking, instead of devoting your full attention to the wonderful sounds. Bringing you one step closer to a cure is Sennen. Currently based out of London, England, the four-piece group makes the type of atmospheric rock that demands your full attention. While most twelve song LPs these days barely top the thirty minute mark, Sennen's sophomore album, Age Of Denial (2011), is twice the length. Inspired by post-rock and shoegaze pioneers like My Bloody Valentine, Spiritualized, and Ride (their name even comes from a Ride song), Sennen makes dramatic soundscapes of dreamy pop with edgy textures. “SOS” might sound familiar to fans of the vampire-centric TV show “True Blood,” as it was featured in an episode. Hazy vocals and guitar distortion give the song a feel that has an almost otherworldly beauty, but with fuzzy undercurrents of danger. “Falling Down” is more gentle and drawn-out, with Laurence Holmes' vocals coming in as barely more than a melodic whisper. Alluding to the philosophical question “"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?", Holmes sings, “'Cause I'm falling/falling down/and I will not make a sound/if there's nobody around.” But he does make a sound—a huge sound—as this leads to a glorious cacophony of distorted guitars and militaristic drums, ending with fading guitar feedback. Fit more for star-gazing than shoe-gazing is “Sleep Heavy Tonight.” Landing on more of the dream-pop end of the spectrum, it's like Sennen's version of a lullaby. Holmes' sweet, breathy vocals float alongside celestial swirls of guitars and keys. The guitars gradually become fuzzier, with heavier distortion effects, feeling like that ambiguous moment between being awake and slipping into a dream. “With You” is one of Sennen's most straightforward indie pop songs, but there's enough of a heavy bass line to still give it a cool edge. Like getting lost in a good book or film, there's an astoundingly transportive power of music. Take some time to really sit and listen to Sennen, to devote your full attention to their songs, and you'll be rewarded with an excellent musical journey.