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Seamonster - The Ascension of Archibald Balloonhead
Gold Robot/Elephant 6
Artist Todd Webb’s newest release under his musical moniker Seamonster continues his ability to manipulate sound into emotions. From the opener “Oh, Am I Dreaming?” to the closing “In the Morning Light,” Seamonster lives up to his aquatic pseudonym and creates reverb-heavy songs that are as much a story as they are a song. The artist, whose work has been in both Nickelodeon Magazine and on the cover of Apples In Stereo side project Robbert Bobbert and The Bubble Machine, extends his artistic reach, though this time not in a cute and fun way, but in a far more introverted and raw fashion. My main complaint is also the signature piece: the effects-heavy recording of this both accentuates the style of Seamonster, but at the same time it drowns out the lyrics at times, leaving Seamonster a perfect record to play while you are doing something creative yourself, but not really for active listening. 8/10 - Racket Magazine

I've been listening a lot lately to the tantalizing EP White Whale by Seamonster, a Herman Melville-obsessed singer-songwriter who goes by the moniker Adrian Seamonster. He's heavily influenced by the Elephant 6 collective (which should give you an idea of why I like his sounds so much), and at times sounds a bit like Jeff Mangum--and though I really hate it when music blogs compare bands to Neutral Milk Hotel, in this case there's good cause. He hasn't hit those heights yet, and I've only an EP to sample his talents, but he's at work on a promising concept album called The Ascension of Archibald Balloonhead, "a musical epic of love, loss, death, and destiny which spans the short life of a boy whose head mysteriously fills with helium during the bombing of his homeland, and who will bring peace to a war-torn kingdom." You see why I swoon? It's not my fault. His [music] is highly recommended. [Seamonster is] a renaissance talent. - Electric Sailor

Are sea monsters and other arcane 19th century beasts scary anymore? People in the modern age have been both too desensitized to theatrics and over stimulated by Quentin Tarantino to actually fear any monster created by Jules Verne or his predecessors. Next to modern weaponry, the sea monster is no longer a real threat, but more a friendly remnant of a time when fish terrified men, and when the ocean was a place of magic. The point is, in this, the 21st century, Seamonster is a fitting stage name for a singer/songwriter who is only as frightening as his playful imagination. He goes by the name Adrian Seamonster, and whether or not this surname is fictitious (stranger names have existed) it is a fitting name for the music he creates. Seamonster’s songwriting is in the same vein as Galaxie 500 and Neutral Milk Hotel (and a little Pixies), both of whose often light and breezy music is appropriate for a relaxing day at the beach or taking a nap in the summer breeze. Of course, this maritime feeling I get listening to Seamonster’s music could just be because many of his songs reference the sea. But at the same time, there is an ingredient of angst and maladjustment in these songs – not the eye shadow and died black hair kind, but the much more tangible and realistic, down to earth (or sea) variety. Seamonster’s success comes mainly from straightforward, elbow grease songwriting and a particularly emotive voice, which is one of my favorites. In “We Didn't Need to Breathe”, Seamonster sings about a beautiful celestial dream, but the cracking of his voice is what makes it authentic. Seamonster has the wisdom and prowess to harness his self-described overactive imagination. “Balloonhead Part Two” is an exceptional song about Archibald Balloonhead, “a boy whose head mysteriously fills with helium during the bombing of his homeland, and who will bring peace to a war-torn kingdom.” - Jezebel Music Showcase

Betraying his obvious delight in the enchanting possibilities of low-tech recording devices, Seamonster's ring-ding-jangle-'n-tap bedchamber pop pieces give off some whiff of mellower, mid-90s Apples in Stereo tracks. Yet the real archetypes for Seamonster are Neutral Milk Hotel's early, hissy recordings [though] Seamonster focuses on the stuff that really made NMH so good in the first place. He has an easy yet forceful way with a tune. Instead of assuming the song will just sort of fall into place around the fetching sounds he coaxes from his toybox of instruments, he subordinates everything to an insistent melody. Also, Seamonster's music -- to the extent this is even possible -- telegraphs a certain unselfconsciousness. These songs sound private, built for their maker's own enjoyment or as modest gifts for friends. They revel in their own fuzzy logic, referring to our world but with an intimate, dreamlike integrity of their own. It's warm and engaging and marvelously personal. Seamonster has been touring pretty extensively and will begin recording a full-length album soon. You can buy his sweet homemade EP White Whale for $5 (and should). - Shake Your Fist

A really amazing low-fi psych indie band out of Virginia, completely unique... Seamonster released an EP last year and are currently prepping their first full-length, The Ascension of Archibald Balloonhead. - Optical Atlas, the Elephant 6 Blog

[Seamonster performed] one of the best shows I've seen in a while - Blar

Taking a surreal adventure through aqueous sounds and tripped out vocals, White Whale is what to listen to while you’re either getting high in the bathtub or moping about some girl who has no idea you exist. Advancing across the soundscape, the tunes make you look inwards to help give them meaning. Seamonster is a solid bet for those who are connoisseurs of music you won’t hear on the radio. 8/10 - Racket Magazine

Transient and beautiful, the EP, 'The White Whale' is full of dream like stories translated into songs that will leave you spellbound. Now, with the full length album, 'The Ascension of Archibald Balloonhead', (which from what I can gather from the website is a concept album about a boy who has a head filled with helium!) at the demo stage and nearly complete things are looking good as Adrian puts together the final touches. - Happy Clap Music

Good news for anyone who likes good music. Virginia Beach native and independent songsmith Seamonster has just unveiled that his new LP The Ascension of Archibald Balloonhead is on sale now! This is the follow up to the White Whale EP which has gotten some major playtime on my ipod over the past few months and I personally can’t wait for my copy of the LP to arrive. Basically, if you like Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples in Stereo or good music in general, you should check him out. - Chad Hartigan (Director, Luke & Brie are on a First Date)

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