It's called country music, but is it a given which country they're talking about? Seaforth consists of a pair of buddies, Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson, from Australia. While it sounds like a good name for a battleship, the band name is the Sydney waterfront suburb where they met around age four. Little songwriting was happening then, but it didn't take long for them to find equal interest in the smooth delivery of Keith Urban, John Mayer and Hunter Hayes. They tracked down producer extraordinaire Dan Huff to helm their 2019 debut EP "Love That." That might have been a little too much sounding just like their heroes – the vocals were hard to distinguish in the marketplace. Dan & Shay? Rascal Flatts? All good guesses. And the single "Love That" stalled at 50 on the charts.
Sounding like other successes is a decent problem to have – it's solvable, and they do on this release. One trick is strategic guesting: Sean Kingston revisits his "Beautiful Girls" hit with the band on "Queen of Daytona Beach." Everything is turned up to 11 for the chorus. And Jordan Davis helps out with "Good Beer." The bromance personality comes through as they clearly want to share good times with friends. It also counterbalances the softer power ballads, ("Breakups" shines as the best written song of the bunch.)
Musically, they're not above pushing boundaries even for new country – "Dr. Phil" is so dance-happy, it could be filed under reggaeton. But the title track and "Used to It" are geared to live torch song performances and teen tears. These guys aren't that young being in their mid-20s, but their lyrics might suggest otherwise. The farewell tune "Magic" has a caught-me-with-a-guitar start of the recording that elevates some fairly pedestrian poetry ("even when it's raining, it's still Paris...you still mess me up every single time").
Seaforth are still finding their sea legs on who they are. While the days of a full-blown identity crisis are definitely done, this record doesn't quite arrive at establishing their own artistic lane either.