It’s quite difficult understanding, that this is actually the debut album from Sekuoia. I mean, It seems like Patrick Alexander Bech-Madsen (aka Sekuoia) has been around for ages, or is that just me?
I remember – easily – how no matter which living room we ended up in, you could be sure that we’d be bumping our heads to Rituals or Evenings – or whatever this guy came up with at the time. And he’s been around ever since, performing at various venues and festivals all over, so it’s not like he disappeared, it’s just now, four – five years later, that the debut album’s released.
Just last year, Sekuoia released an EP called Reset Heart. It seemed pushed, like something just had to be released. And with past singles still being, well, ‘hits’, expectations are high. From my perspective, it couldn’t live up to that. I kept hoping, that it wouldn’t be the end of it, and that the guys behind him would just give him time to come up with that new material who’d be Sekuoia-worthy. That piece of genius, that proves he’s one of our absolute finest.
Well, less than a month ago, he was finally back on the shelf where he belongs – this time joining forces with Marc Roland of Kentaur on the single Brace. It might be, that you don’t care for this kind of music – I don’t always, to be honest – but this is just f***ing quality. It’s two of the best in their respective fields, and it’s a classic 2+2=5-situation. Why this ain’t a top 10 thing in DK, or being played HEAVILY on the radio, I’ll never understand. But then again, there’s a lot of things concerning Danish Radio I’ll never understand – my point is, though, that this is a hit. As simple as that. It’s a textbook example on Danish Radio not taking care of its own, rather than giving all the airplay to some American pop-sensation with a career based on looks or having 25 songwriters doing all the work. I’m not mentioning any names, mainly because there are simply too many of this species, and it would take up too much of this review.
Anyway, today’s the day, where Sekuoia’s following up on Brace by releasing his debut album. I’ve been through it, and I’ve been dancing around ever since. I can’t help it. It’s an album filled with danceable tracks, yet it’s experimenting and different – and at the same time having Sekuoia trademark hooks and sounds all over the place. There’s a great variation in genre, tempo and how much you’ll let the bass take over.
Take Honestly as a great example; it has Sekuoia written all over it – maybe even sprinkled with a tiny bit of XXYXX at the beginning. It’s that quality and that sound you’d expect on a Sekuoia debut album, and he definitely lives up to that. But both Beau before it and Bashed after are completely different, and that’s where we see new sides to Sekuoia. That’s where you’re invited on the dance floor; not to do your usual down-tempo-electro-dancing, but really go absolute crazy. Imagine listening to Bashed at a festival stage at two or three in the morning, and you’re at that stage where you either jump around or go home – then this song’s on. After that, you’ll be good for a couple of more hours before hitting the bed.
In my opinion, it’s the first song, Rayanne, that we find that piece of Sekuoia-gold. There’s some 90’s elements mixed with a London-sound guitar (The xx and the likes), and it’s just extremely compelling. It’s as if he can do whatever he wants on the rest of the album, because the first track just had you. My god, it’s a strong opener.
The album ends with a song featuring Kill J, and though it’s good, it’s really different from Brace – and that’s my only concern on this album, that the last mentioned song stands quite alone. As stated above, I love this song, but would the album be better without it? Or with a song or two more down that line. I don’t know. And you know what? It’s really not that important.
It seems it was worth the wait, both for Sekuoia and for the listeners. It seems he’s found what he’d been looking for – and it proves that it’s okay to just wait for the right album to come along. flac certainly is that album!
Give the album a listen at your favourite music provider or streaming service.
The debut album from Sekuoia proves that he's back on that level that made his breakthrough. Layers have been added, and he's found that sound we've been longing for. If you ask me, this is an important piece of work! (5.5/6)