Post punk outfit Sei Still — Sebastián Rojas (organ, synths), Mateo Sánchez Galán (guitar), Jerónimo Martín (drums, percussion) and Lucas Martín (vocals, guitar) — can trace its origins to when the members of the band decided to take a random trip to some desolate woodlands outside of Mexico City work on a couple of songs. Those sessions were so productive that it led to the quartet starting the band in earnest.
With just a couple of singles under their collective belts — 2017’s “Oto” and 2019’s “Tacticas de Guerrilla Urbana” — the band quickly earned a rapidly growing profile in their native Mexico, sharing stages with Stereolab, Kikagaku Moyo, Institute, and Lorelle Meets The Obsolete. The members of the Mexican post punk outfit signed to London-based label Fuzz Club Records, who released their self-titled full-length debut last year. The album quickly solidified new European fanbase for the Mexican post punk outfit, while selling out its initial vinyl pressing.
Slated for a November 26, 2021 release through Fuzz Club Records Sei Still’s highly-anticipated sophomore album El Refugio marks a number of major changes for the Mexican post-punk outfit: The band relocated to Berlin, where they wrote and recorded El Refugio. And sonically, the album represents an evolution in the now-Berlin-based band’s sound. Whereas their self-titled debut was heavily indebted to the Krautrock sounds of Can and Neu!, El Refugio reportedly sees the band crafting a somewhat skeletal effort: while still centered around a motorik pulse, El Refugio‘s songs sees the band eschewing the expansive and hypnotic tendencies of its predecessors for a more wiry, post-punk sound. The song are much shorter and unapologetically to-the-point, while brimming with tension and anguish.
“The biggest influence on this record was the fact that our personal lives had a radical change and we felt the need to do something different, to dig deeper into the possibilities of what the band was about,” the members of Sei Still explain. “We never wanted to make the same record twice.” Naturally, the move from from Mexico to Germany would have been a massive upheaval both personally and culturally, but the rising post punk outfit managed to do so a few weeks before pandemic-related shutdowns and quarantines, which gives the material a visceral feel.
Expressionist rather than psychedelic, the band explains that El Refugio “alludes to childhood, dreams, desire, loneliness, paranoia and hope. A longing for a different reality that breaks the monotony of daily life. It’s more about sensations than something you can describe in words. I think what makes music great is that it has to be experienced so we try to part from a specific mood or emotion, which is something very abstract that people can interpret in their own way.”
El Refugio‘s latest single is the brooding, “Extraradio.” Centered around Lucas Martín’s dry sprechgesang delivery in Spanish, an angular bass line, bursts of wiry, delay pedaled guitar and an insistent motorik pulse, “Extraradio” bears a resemblance to Joy Division while evoking the profound loneliness of being an Other in a foreign land with a culture and language you can’t understand.
Directed by Pilar Gost, the recently released video for “Extraradio” evokes the lonely and paranoid feel of the song, capturing the band’s members dancing, vamping and brooding in strobe light.