Sui Zhen – Two Seas album review

We’ve been besotted by Sui Zhen for a while now, with her tinkling voice and her twisty, lovely lyrics. Jess O’Callaghan gives her debut LP a listen:

Upon listening to Sui Zhen’s debut album, Two Seas, I felt as though I were falling in love and having my heart gently broken, over and over. Some songs are like secrets, whispered between sleepy heads on a pillow, and others are full of joy, suitable for singing loudly on bicycles.

Wandering Me, Cupboards and Sand and Little Frog fall into the latter category, with strange, pretty percussion and sweet harmonies sprinkled through the music. Then there are tunes like opening track My New Friend, Happy to See You and Tuesday Sometimes which are just so honest that it seems necessary to play them on repeat, savouring lines like “When I am with you/We are happy sometimes.”

While the music feels spectacularly new – which I’m going to attribute to things like “and an accordion somewhere,” snuck into the explanation of who plays what instrument – there is something wonderful about the everyday-ness of the lyrics.

When I heard “I can cook three meals/With not even a fight,” and, in Blue Night, “I could watch three seasons with you/I could touch your skin under the blanket,” it was like she was singing my own absent-minded thoughts and still surprising me by how important she made them sound. Track eight, Golden Cage is more of a story. The xylophone and harmonising reminding me of Lisa Mitchell’s album Wonder. The lyrics are both online and beautifully folded into a booklet for the hardcopy, which is nice for those of us who fall hard and fast for a song.

A beautiful album for those who like lyrics, awkward situations, a lilting voice and layering of sounds.

Review by Jess O’Callaghan. You can listen to and buy the album here: