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play(dead), or ‘playbracketdeadbracket’ is the band-of-one musical persona of Sean Shreeve (Ex-Freeze The Atlantic, Spectrum 7), bringing together Electronica with words, guitars, and loud noises. Imagine if early Placebo met later Deftones and started a band with 65daysofstatic via Depeche Mode and you’re somewhere close.
Originally starting life as ‘52pieces’, a yearlong writing project in 2016 with a plethora of musical material of varying styles and sounds ranging from alternative rock to full blown chiptune, play(dead) is an evolution of that project – riffing on a life-long love of guitar music, and embracing samples, synths and sounds to create a emotive wall of melodic noise.
After years of bothering the servers of Soundcloud and various sites with demos and snippets, ‘Distortions’ - the debut EP from play(dead), released May 27th 2020 - is the first piece of that four year journey to be released in any significant way. Aside from a two-day recording session in September 2019 with long-time friend Henrik Fossum (Steinrøys), ‘Distortions’ was entirely recorded, mixed and produced by Sean over a period of 10 months, with Sean having to learn how to mix and master in the process. Lyrically, it is personal, and it is intimate; closely tied into Sean’s own 4-year mental journey both professionally and emotionally. The album artwork itself is also an amalgamation of various photos taken in that time, taking the ‘Distortions’ title literally in how these moments are represented through the distortion of memories via digital glitching and editing. Regardless of how it may be held critically it feels like an achievement and a foundation to build on for play(dead), musically and personally.