Evolution often happens at just the right time. Six years deep into their career, Seaway progress the patented pop punk prowess that put them on the map with sharper songcraft and a nod to the nineties on their third full-length record, Vacation (Pure Noise Entertainment). The Ontario, Canada quintet—Patrick Carleton (rhythm guitar, co-vocals), Andrew Eichinger (lead guitar, backing vocals), Ryan Locke (lead vocals), Adam Shoji (bass), and Ken Taylor (drums)—confidently step up their game across the board, while maintaining the spark that ignited a fervent fan base.
The new music still sounds like Seaway, explains Andrew. It's got that party vibe, and it's fun, but some of the songs are more mid-tempo. There are some more rock aspects influenced by bands we love like Weezer and Third Eye Blind. I felt like was just a matter of time before those influences came out. It's pop punk at the end of the day. However, it's just a little different. We sat down and talked about it. We had more time to put into this than in the past. It's the first album where we weren't juggling full-time jobs or school. It was a natural progression.
It's one the boys have been working towards since their formation in 2011. Along the way, they released two energetic and explosive records—Hoser (2013) and Colour Blind (2015)—and churned out hits such as Best Mistake and Sabrina The Teenage Bitch, which both cracked the 1-million mark on Spotify. Consistently averaging over 160K streams per month, they toured with the likes of Simple Plan, Neck Deep, and Four Year Strong between landing acclaim from Alternative Press and more.
Coming off the road, they switched up the recording process by alternating extended pre-production sessions with different producers for the first time. After working with longtime collaborator Derek Hoffman in Canada during January, they retreated to Massachusetts for a week with Four Year Strong's Alan Day before holing up in a Los Angeles studio to record with Mike Green (All Time Low, Sum 41, Pierce the Veil) and Kyle Black (Senses Fail, Five Seconds of Summer).
We were very fortunate to work like this, Andrew goes on. The pre-production definitely helped polish the songs and make them what they are now. Because we had that time, being in L.A. was smooth sailing. We didn't have to write that much in the studio. That was nice.
The lead single Apartment opens the record with galloping guitar, fiery percussion, and an undeniable chant. He reveals, I wrote that song about being at home when we're not on tour—because you're not there long enough to get a real job but you also don't have anything to do. It's the last couple of days before leaving for the road and spending time with a loved one or someone you're in a relationship with.
Then, there's Neurotic. The skittering guitar splinters into a shimmering refrain that's impossible to shake. It's a straight nineties alternative pop song, he elaborates. Some people think we're rockstars living the rockstar life. We worked super hard to get to where we are. It's about two sides of touring. When you're gone, you wish you're home. When you're home, you wish you were on tour.
Elsewhere, Scatter My Ashes Along The Coast Or Don't (featuring Caleb Shomo) snaps from a guttural groove into a bludgeoning stomp. We all contributed to the song lyrically, which was really cool, he states. That was a first. Because it was so collaborative, it felt right to put Caleb on the song. His voice was perfect.
Ultimately, every element represents an evolution for Seaway as they arrive with their brightest, biggest, and boldest work to date.
I want people to feel that we've progressed as a band, Andrew leaves off. We think this is the best form of Seaway we've been able to put out there. We hope people see that and have a good time while listening to it."