San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area is home to a wealth of incredible music, art, and culture. One of the best offerings is The Seshen, a seven-piece band fronted and led by singer/lyricist Lalin St. Juste and her creative partner, bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara. Flames & Figures is the latest offering from The Seshen, available this Friday, October 14. You can pre-order the album through Bandcamp.
On their latest release, a gorgeous layered collage of sounds, St. Juste and Ehara are joined by vocalist Kash Rockland, drummer Chris Thalmann, keyboard/synth player Mahesh Rao, percussionist Mirza Kopelman and sampler Kumar Butler.
The band’s first release emerged in 2012 on Bandcamp. The Seshen is currently signed to U.K.-based electro-centric Tru Thoughts Records.
Citing influences such as Erykah Badu, Jai Paul, James Blake, Radiohead and Broadcast, the sound goes deeper with nods to krautrock, ’70s jazz like Rahsaan Roland Kirk and early Moog-heavy electronica. Some call it Afro-futurism, some call it electro-soul. Either way, these are complex, gorgeous tunes that give zero fucks about which genre you want to pigeonhole them into. The sound transcends it, and the songs are here to come and go as they rightfully please.
The Seshen’s videos are as gorgeous as the music. Ethereal and infused with a heavy dose of Black Girl Magic, St. Juste and Rockland sing you into a meditative state as the visuals guide you through St. Juste’s lyrical visions.
Flames & Figures explores themes of femininity, empowerment and grief as St. Juste creates dreamscapes from her personal experiences and imagination. And, if you are an aesthete on the high-femme tip, you can’t help but wonder WHAT IS THAT MAGNIFICENT LIPSTICK, how can I get a rose-gold pigment to pop like that and where did those incredible sequined outfits come from? Where is this majestic speakeasy? Damn, I wanna party with them.
Recommended if you like: Phantogram, TV on The Radio, tUnE-yArDs, Laura Mvula, Thundercat, Lowleaf and Solange Knowles.
The Seshen are currently on tour to support Flames & Figures. If you are in California, check them out at The Hi-Hat in Los Angles on Friday, October 21, and Berkeley’s UC Theater on Saturday, October 22. For fans elsewhere, check out the tour schedule.