Destroyertones is the sophomore studio album from Sean Addicott, a Bristol UK sound artist exploring various shades of ambient, post-rock, and noise. His new offering showcases Sean’s ability to balance lightness with crushing weight, growing from a semi-sinusoidal drone to a palisade of noise, harmony, and sub-bass. Conceptually, it explores catharsis through ritual isolation, loneliness, and the importance of growth and change. Today, we’re pleased to give it a special attention with an exclusive insight into Sean’s art.
Sean Addicott creates sumptuous sound worlds, with clear nods to Jonsi & Alex, Tim Hecker, and William Basinski. In 2019, Sean released ‘Tapesleep’, a chemically-corroded nod to the modern convention of a sleep tape. The project sought to explore our relationships with sleep and was exhibited interactively at Centrespace Gallery in Bristol, where a bed was utilised as a means of interfacing with the album. The album was premiered by Astral Noize, with reviews featured in The Quietus and Electronic Sound magazine (in print). As a live performer, Sean Addicott has shared stages with Kristof Hahn (formerly of SWANS), Masayoshi Fujita, Mary Lattimore, and Adrian Utley (Portishead), and has played at the Bristol Beacon and St. George’s Hall.
As for his live appearances, an Audio/Visual reconstruction of Destroyertones will be exhibited in Bristol in 2022, in collaboration with digital artist Rory Joseph, film-maker Cressida Williams, and photographer Claire Addicott.
“My music is inspired by the events of my life but composed with the intention that people can find what they find in it.” – comments Sean. “It’s built on abstraction – if someone wasn’t to tell you what inspired it, would you be able to know? I carve out pockets of space for reflection and to give people room to feel their feelings, as guided by the compositions.”
Asked about his experience with the rough ride through the pandemic, he admited that he’s a clinically extremely vulnerable person with regard to COVID-19. “I spent the majority of 2020 living with my parents, outside the city, and was privileged enough to be able to teach from home.” – he continues. “There are a great many people who were not afforded such a privilege, people who fall under the same category. There are those who also fell between the cracks of the government’s financial safety initiatives, be that due to self-employed work status not meeting the criteria, or due to benefits. There are marginalised groups, such as disabled people, who were left to watch from the window as the restrictions were lifted, only to see the rates of infection rise. There are people who are currently dying, not only because of the virus but because the reallocation of resources has rendered their regular necessary treatments inaccessible. I think a little would go a long way in terms of considering those when committing to our daily tasks. What is want and what is need?”
If you have the resources, here are three things local to me that you can donate to today as an act of mutual aid:
Covid Mutual Aid Group – Have a search, and see if there is a group near you that requires further support. How can you support? What do you in turn need help with?
Mary (Invalid__art) is a great Instagrammer to follow. She does a lot of work around disability accessibility, advocation, and also runs Disabled meals. Mary has her own access needs which they are raising money for, and regularly shares other calls for mutual aid, dealing with specific needs, and fundraising perspectives. Their Instagram has a boundaries tab, which is worth reading before getting in direct contact with them.
Trussell Trust – A network of foodbanks, supporting individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond. They currently support over 1200 food banks.
Ritual I – A Solitudinal;
“Ritual I – A Solitudinal;” is the first movement of a 3 part work titled “Ritual”, which forms as Side A of a larger project titled “Destroyertones”.
“They are inspired by a great many things, given that in earnest, these pieces both existed in some form previous to the COVID-19 pandemic.” – says Sean. “Isolation, ritualistic music practice, change, and transition. There is much more to come. These songs are for people who spent last year wanting to scream at the sun, and for those, who like myself, are still on the heath, all a’scream. What’s mine is yours, take them and make them homely.”
Asked about his inspirations, Sean continued: “I spent a large part of last year trying to touch base with my childhood self, which lead me to immersion in the Voltron and Gundam (MSG, MSZG, MSGUC, and unfortunately, MSGZZ) universes. I will admit to some of this making its way into my work. The vastness of space, the grandeur of robots, coupled with an ambient soundtrack. If the sound of that really compresses your input signal, then consume at will.”
Artists and albums worth looking into, by Sean Addicott:
beheading. are a phenomenal band. They merge slowcore, post-rock and noise to create complex and dynamic storyteller worlds, embracing visceral, acerbic topics, and exposing vulnerability. Think Carrisa’s Weird, with moments of Puce Mary.
Cremation Lily makes beautiful music that feels like it doesn’t sit anywhere, and also everywhere all at once. Noise, ambient, drone, concrete, trap, all in one vast canyon. Their 2020 work ‘More Songs About Drowning’ was a grounding influence during 2020.
Lucy Gooch soundtracked much of last year for me. Imagine someone being so brash as to add lyrics to ambient music. Beautiful poetic reflections navigated by full synth base, and processed ambient vocal textures. Like a collaboration between Kate Bush and Juliana Barwick. Het music really allowed me to feel my feelings, and disappear into things.
Rachika Nayar released what is undoubtedly going to be my album of the year in “Our Hands Against the Dust”. Their work reminds me of what I love in the harmony of Jonsi and Alex Somers ‘Riceboy Sleeps’ and the glitch-fever of early Tim hecker. However, the presentation makes unique use of processed audio holding hands with its unprocessed form, in a way that’s unique and present tense. Truly beautiful in both a left side and right side brain way.
Claire Rousay’s “a softer focus” came out this year and follows in the trend of artists pushing ambient’s envelope, in creating more expansive, dare I say rule-breaking works. I love how Claire’s work features background/ambient sound in a percussive manner, using things like type-writers in an assertive manner, to create complex and encompassing sound worlds.
Sam Grudgings is aBristol based poet, who reminds me of why I got into skramz, in a spoken word format. Take leanings from the performance stylings of listener., Sam takes words and performance straight to the feeling-centre with stories of addiction. I witnessed him give my spine a rehiding at a Zoom gig recently, via guided meditation, from a boat in the mind’s eye.
Pascal Vine is a phenomenal poet. His work is playful yet visceral and capable of so much depth. I had the great honour of performing alongside both Pascal and Sam at the launch of the Tapesleep album. CW – the poem below deals with abuse.
Punch On! -I’m not going to lie, this is an inglorious self-plug. We released a single titled ‘Gore-Tex Aorta very recently. Give it some attention, the video celebrates the summer of 2020 in some kind of way. If you like the more chaotic and beautiful side of hardcore punk – Loma Prieta, Raein, etc… then give it a spin.