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A few months back we introduced Luke O’Neil’s new band No Hope / No Harm, and had plenty to say about its players and their ties to bands like The Good North, The Field Effect, and The Sheila Divine. But there was a bit of a gray area with bassist James F. Forbes’ so-called “other” band, SEBIO.
That gray area is filled in with vibrant colors as the Boston guitar-rock quartet roar into our playlists with a double shot of guitar-rock glory in “Divide” and “Undone”, both of which you can listen to below via the SEBIO Bandcamp. Both songs blend anthemic ’90s alt-rock with touches of modern emo revivalism and intertwined guitar work.
“Typically, the smallest idea or simple motif unfolds into an entire song relatively quickly… like, ‘Divide’ was inspired by a simple arpeggiated guitar loop,” guitarist/vocalist Stephan Nordgren tells Vanyaland. “I brought the skeleton of the song to James. We were able to craft an idea around the structure, and weave his guitar in with mine. It’s fun experimenting with a song that has some anthemic chord driven moments, but also some rhythmic finesse — playing with that dynamic. And there are those instances — like the pre-chorus — where it’s tough to decipher one guitar from the other; they’re really intertwined. I like that. Lyrically, there are those moments where things in the world really suck — at home, on the news, wherever… but there are also equally great things in life happening at the same time. The verses are more pessimistic in delivery, but the chorus is supposed to serve as that positive reminder. That’s the ‘Divide.'”
The artwork for the “Divide”/”Undone” release includes an image of bassist Erica Belden’s great grandmother, which connects the band to their members’ pasts. “SEBIO — pronounced See-bee-oh — is my great grandmother’s last name,” Nordgren says, “so we thought it’d be interesting to collate our great grandparents in a single photo.” Adds Forbes, who serves as the band’s guitarist/vocalist: “Music is definitely a way of carrying on a legacy, so having our ancestors as part of the art was something amazing and meaningful that Steph was able to put together. Thanks, Photoshop.”
These two new SEBIO tracks are the band’s first since 2012, and represent the new lineup and sound. “We formed based on the In Hardwood Groves EP that was written and recorded solely by Stephan in 2012,” Forbes tells us. “We were essentially playing stuff from five years ago. So we’d take those songs, flavor them up a bit…but that would only show when we played them live. “Divide” (and “Undone”) are the first songs we released that showcase our personalities and styles as individual musicians working together. It’s us saying ‘Hey, this is SEBIO now.'”