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The Seymours

Seymoursband

Image
Clockwise from top left; Ian Picholl, Mat Gilbert, Simon Gunn, Carl Pinchbeck, Twiggy Pop and Timo Sirviö
Band Name
The Seymours
Members
Ian Picholl - Lead Vocals
Mat Gilbert - Guitar, Bass Guitar
Simon Gunn - Drums
Twiggy Pop - Bass Guitar, Cello
Carl Pinchbeck - Keyboard, Guitar
Timo Sirviö - Piano, Guitar
Origin
London, UK
Genre(s)
Years Active
2005 - Present
Label(s)
M/M Records 2007 - 2008

The Seymours are an English-French indie pop band from London. The band was formed by Ian Picholl (vocals) and Carl Pinchbeck (keyboards), who were soon joined by the other members of the group. They have sold over 8,5 million albums worldwide and have had three number one singles. Ian Picholl, guitarist Mat Gilbert and multi-instrumentalist Carl Pinchbeck are considered the core members of the band and have been the lead songwriters since the group's formation.

Midnight/Mythic & debut album (mid-2007)Edit

The band originally gained prominence with their independently released debut single "My Girlfriend & Caligula" in mid-2007 and were swiftly signed to Midnight/Mythic Records by then-label co-owner Bikki Bunney. They now consider this as a mere fluke since they firmly believe that the single boasts no qualities whatsoever. A short tour was announced in order to promote the band, during which they released their first single for Midnight/Mythic; the slow, droning "Superior of the Species".

At the tour's final stop the band announced that they were to enter the studio and record their album, and a few weeks later Ian Picholl revealed in an interview that they had "about ten songs ready." One of these was released as a single, "Popsicle", but failed to make an impression the charts. Success would come a short while after with the release of their fourth offering, "Oh No, Not You Again" which broke into the top 40 and gained moderate airplay. The group's management quickly shelved the recent umixed studio takes and instead opted for the band's finished demos to appear on the upcoming record in order to cash in on the popularity, a decision the band would later regret.

Preceded by the single "Downers", The Seymours' debut album A Mutually Faithful, Monogamous Relationship in the Context of Marriage is the Expected Standard of Human Sexual Activity was rushed to release on September 1, 2007 and reached number 18 in the UK charts. The band embarked on a lengthy tour to promote the album, from the UK and Europe to the US, during which tensions grew between band members. Picholl said that "[the tour was a] bad idea overall. Sometimes we had to pick people from the audience to play for us because we were too strung out." US crowds in particular were more unreceptive as the tour drew on, and the disastrous shows would sometimes only last for two or three songs before rioting ensued.

Ianlive

Lead singer Ian Picholl live in 2007 during the chaotic US tour.

The album ended up selling over 4 million copies worldwide, gaining the group wordwide recognition, much due to the surprise #2 hit "Emmerdale". The band cancelled the remaining dates of their tour, which by then consisted mostly of UK seaside gigs, citing burnout. Ian Picholl explained: "none of us wanted to see each other after that [the US tour], let alone play together again." Picholl and Carl Pinchbeck laid down acoustic b-sides for the final single culled from the album; "Swallow". It failed to spark any interest and the band was rapidly losing momentum, delving deeper into drug addiction. Their management said that "their career was probably over, anyway."

Inbetween fruitless studio sessions Ian Picholl and Mat Gilbert collaborated with electronica act Aftershock on the EP Take Us to Your Planet, which recieved lukewarm reviews. Picholl also recorded vocals for Aerospliff guitarist Reef's Jimi Hendrix tribute album Electric Angel. He appears on the track "Night Bird Flying".

The Seymours & return to form (late 2007-present)Edit

Matters concerning the band remained quiet until November the same year as they, without promotion, released an EP of studio experiments. Dubbed The Holocaust, it featured the dreamy "Caramel" which was also released to radio, and recieved a respectable amount of airplay despite being over seven minutes in length. A couple of weeks later The Seymours made their first public appearance together with jazz outfit Chicago Wind on the 11th Annual IMA Ceremony. They also won the Best Newcomer award, despite heavy competition from bands such as Tom o' Bedlam, GirlSpice and Attack The System. Ian Picholl later told the press that he thought the award should be shared with the latter.

"I Say I Deserve Better Than This", the brand new song performed at the IMAs, was released on December 6 as the first single from the album. A week later the band unveiled The Seymours, a depressing affair which recieved wildly enthusiastic media reviews. The Seymours had now clearly distanced themselves from their soft, lo-fi past with an album that mixed post-punk and indie rock. Recording had been properly conducted this time around, with sessions initiated by Picholl and Gilbert in New York and later polished up in the band's own studio in the Swiss Alps.

The album's second single, the music business criticism of "Poptunes", ironically hit #1 on the UK charts on the week of the album's launch. "Le Responsible", "Trash" and "Stylorouge" were also successful single releases that propelled album sales and surpassed their debut with hundreds of thousands of copies. At first, a tour was arranged, but these plans fell through when Ian Picholl suffered an injury during the band's set at Midwinter Mashfest. Picholl also shared vocals with My Freaky Valentine's lead singer Hayley Williams on their single "Signal the Stars". The Seymours released two singles, "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" and "Life's a Gas" for the Christmas and New Year Extravaganzas, respectively.

In early 2008, the group was nominated for a number of IMA awards but won none. Mid-February saw the members reuniting for a string of concerts in Japan. Mat Gilbert told fans after the final show that the band were currently recording their third album, and that they were aiming at an early 2008 release. The band also played a short set at the Festival Buen Día on March 15.

On May 23, the band debuted three new songs during a surprise appearance for a private party at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Seymours played the second Midsummer Mashfest installment on June 22, revealing another batch of unheard songs as well as performing tracks drawn from their second album. Ian Picholl promised fans that they would be back 'very, very soon'. It is believed that the album mentioned by Mat Gilbert in February has been scrapped in favour for new material. This was partly confirmed by Picholl after the show, though nothing has been made official by either The Seymours camp or their record label.

Mat Gilbert posted a blog entry[1] on The Seymours website on June 28, updating visitors and fans on the new album, future single releases and new member Timo Sirviö.

The band's label Midnight Records closed its doors on August 4. It is now speculated that the album's release has been pushed back due to these circumstances.

On July 15th, 2009, nearly a year after any news, Ian Picholl, Timo Sirviö and a number of Italian guest musicians performed a stripped down set in support for Rest in Peace on their The Spinning world tour at Stadio Olimpico in Rome, Italy. The show consisted mostly of Italian folk songs and a few reinterpretations of Seymours songs. Picholl and Sirviö spoke briefly to the music press after the show, though there was no mention of new material.

Musical style and influencesEdit

Both musically and lyrically The Seymours cite bands and artists such as The Beatles, Phil Spector, My Bloody Valentine, Françoise Hardy, Serge Gainsbourg, Prince, Pet Shop Boys, Scarlette & the Retrospect, The Sundays, The Velvet Underground, Orange Juice, The Cure, The Stone Roses, The Jesus & Mary Chain, David Bowie, Jacques Dutronc, Blondie, Mr. Prunce, Neu!, The Kinks, Buchinski and The Smiths as major influences.

DiscographyEdit

Main article: The Seymours discography


Year Title Type Chart positions (UK)
2007 A Mutually Faithful... Studio 18
2007 The Seymours Studio 14
2008 The Seymours' third studio album Studio -

AwardsEdit

AwardsEdit

NominationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Blog entry retrieved 28th June 2008

External link(s)Edit

Offical website

The Seymours (edit)
Ian Picholl · Mat Gilbert · Simon Gunn · Twiggy Pop · Carl Pinchbeck · Timo Sirviö
Albums: A Mutually Faithful... · The Seymours · Untitled third studio release
Extended plays: Take Us to Your Planet · The Holocaust EP
Singles: "My Girlfriend & Caligula" · "Superior of the Species" · "Popsicle" · "Downers" · "Oh No, Not You Again" · "Emmerdale" · "Swallow" · "I Say I Deserve Better Than This" · "Poptunes" · "Le Responsible" · "This Is Not Love, Dear" · "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" · "Life's a Gas" · "Trash" · "Stylorouge"
Related articles: Discography

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