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Sean Solo Offers Sunny Reflections on Sophomore Sequence 'Depth Perception' (album stream)

Jordan Blum
Photo: Sean Williams

Sean Solo evoke Paul Simon, Brian Wilson, Sufjan Stevens, and more on their sunny new record Depth Perception.

As a member of the Georgia outfit Dalmatian (which disbanded a couple of years ago), Sean Williams earned a sturdy reputation as an endearingly humble and uplifting vocalist/songwriter/guitarist. It's no surprise, then, that his subsequent project—the cleverly titled Sean Solo—maintained that allure on 2016's debut LP, Songs of Life and Death. Next Friday, he and his band (Heath Abney, Travis Reeves, and Grayson Williams) will release their follow-up outing, Depth Perception, a silky-smooth collection of Southern pop that provides a fine soundtrack for the upcoming summer season.

Williams describes his music as an amalgamation of "Fleetwood Mac, Vampire Weekend, and the Beach Boys", and those allusions—among others—permeate the whole sequence. For instance, the title track opens the record with a breezy mash-up of subdued vocals/harmonies, tight rhythms, and bouncy yet feisty riffs that cumulatively evoke Sufjan Stevens and early Death Cab for Cutie. It's a fine example of how relatively simple arrangements can lead to catchy and bright pieces.

While some subsequent songs maintain a similar air of friendly dejection (such as the poetic, Sean Lennon-esque "In Love Again" and the gorgeously dense and folky "The Day the Princess Died"), others are quite colorful and cheery. "How Did I Get Here", for example, packs the electrifying danceability of '50s rock 'n' roll, while "All My Friends Are Up on the Roof" is draped in the amiable, multilayered meditation of classic Simon & Garfunkel. Likewise, the brief "A Plane to L.A. (interlude)" is a downright heavenly respite, "Lies" is relatively experimental yet still very inviting, and closer "Water to Wine" coats its piano ballad core with surreal effects, standard rock instrumentation, and more to yield an adventurous final journey. All in all, Depth Perception feels fresh and familiar at once, marking Williams and company as an invigorating new pop act.

Take a listen to the whole record below and see if it doesn't charm you as well. If it does, you can purchase it digitally here.

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