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Sun Gets In Your Eyes: Seebirds

Osaka quartet Seebirds — in the opening minute of “Herz,” above — sounds like a pleasant albeit familiar outfit. Save for the steely kick of a drum machine and some woozy synthesizer smudges, the song initially seems like a half-speed tune you’d expect to hear coming from any number of livehouses in the Kansai region. But then, “Herz” gets color inverted — the synths turn menacing, the vocals become distorted, and the whole song suddenly feels like a fever dream, whatever brightness once present swapped out for a creepiness. That’s what makes Seebirds intriguing — it has been awhile since an indie band has been able to harness tension like this, falling somewhere between Half Mile Beach Group and, like, The Knife on the unnerving scale (or maybe they got the name from this). The group’s first mini-album comes out this week, and other numbers from it highlight a similar something-just-off feeling. “Fraud” gurgles underneath its mid-tempo pacing, and teases ripping apart, but always contains the unease just enough. Listen to that one below.