Seldom Family - Self-Titled Review

Chris Caulder and Patrick Norris have been working on creating music that allows a being to have a space to think. Self-Titled is a 7-track album devoted to just that.

Between Caulder & Norris, they play five different instruments excluding vocals. According to the band, "Seldom Family conjures up the glory days of 80s post-punk while being inspired by the slowcore and shoegaze movements of the early 90s. The lyrical themes and accompanying videos are purely symbolist in meaning and are meant to put the listener in a state of constant introspection. Music made by two sad men."

A lot of Seldom Family's recent work is purely ambient and without lyrical effort. Albums like Audrey & Laura, which came out in April 2017, boasts 10-tracks, some of which averaging more than 10-minutes in length. But, Self-Titled harps on lyricism and ambience. Tracks aren't longer than 5-minutes, and exist solely in their own escape. Side projects like Audrey & Laura only bring part of the magic that Seldom Family has to offer, and you should check out the tracklist for Self-Titled below!

Self-Titled Tracklist:
1. White Eyes
2. Speedway
3. True Blue 05:08
4. The Dogs 05:03
5. Mine Forever, Mine Alone 03:02
6. Not A Singer 04:32
7. It's Never Needless 02:38




The album came out almost a year ago, but honestly I haven't had the opportunity to listen to something much like it in a long time, and it makes me excited about Seldom Family. Typically, I like to pick out tracks that stick out to me, but this album feels as though there is no separation, like you would see in a more "conventional" album breakdown. Each track flows effortlessly into the next, bringing the listener into the highs and lows of an, almost, cinematic experience. 

The majority of this album feels dissonant and indifferent. Often the tracks are persuading a mood or emotion in the blank space they inherently take up, the vocals from Norris are a howling in the wind. This entire collection is easy to listen to, especially if you're trying to do other things, or if you're just trying to be. The music offers up a nice background emotion to pivot your own against. Not to mention, instrumentally the textures of each of these tracks is exciting and fresh. 

Described on their bandcamp as post-punk, I almost wonder if they're "heavy" enough to be post punk. Instrumentally, Self-Titled is reminiscent of more rock & roll-esque sounds, throwing in some definite shoegaze-like elements. Vocally, and lyrically, Seldom Family is pulling from sounds like Foxing, or maybe even an essence of dream pop (in which the music inherently feels dark and far away). Their sound was something I definitely appreciated about Seldom Family - it feels different, it feels hard to pinpoint, it feels good to listen to.

As stated above, Self-Titled is older in comparison to newer, more ambient (void of vocals completely) music that Seldom Family is putting out. That stuff is pretty cool, too, and you should definitely check it out. The duo just recently put out "Androgynous (Replacements Cover)" in April, which you can stream down below!

For more on Seldom Family, definitely check out this ambient bad ass collective, and to keep up with all of their updates, check out their social media!

Seldom Family: Facebook // Tumblr // Instagram