The Album Leaf
Seal Beach EP
The Spanish label Acuarela is one of several small European labels that have, among other releases, provided relatively established, independent artists with an opportunity to present their side projects in an informal but professional setting. This one is the solo project of Jimmy LaValle from the semi-legendary post-rock outfit Tristeza, demonstrating that the guy has instrumental ability beyond playing the guitar. Musically, Seal Beach doesn’t stray too far from Tristeza, although it’s warmer and more comforting in tone, more content to create lush and digressive melodies. It’s all instrumental, with the first three songs (“Malmo,” “Brennivin,” and “Seal Beach”) being variations of the same (progressive) ambient theme — not unlike Múm in their nervous rhythms and unstable beauty. “Christiansands,” meanwhile, is in a more “conventional” Tristeza vein: a syncopated post-rock tune with live drums and a gentle melody. “One Minute” is a sweeping acoustic affair, giving the EP a lovely sense of closure.