Chats with Seth Sentry + ‘Run’ review

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Since being handpicked from Unearthed back in ’09, like some sort of delicious story-telling fruit, hip-hop artist and all round nice bloke Seth Sentry has risen to become one of Australia’s most beloved live acts. Noted for his impeccably delivered yet quite laid back flow, Seth’s style very much reflects both him as a person and the lyrical content of his songs. Over a 5 year career, Seth thematically has addressed love and youth, consumption and alienation; all in a light-hearted and funny manner that is refreshingly accessible, while carrying the weight needed for the songs to resonate in the listener. The end result has time and time again been unpretentious and quite simply, fun music. I chatted to Seth Sentry about his upcoming tour, the new record and his new pet cockatoo ‘Scraw’.

Naturally, we here at art felicis were excited last year in December when Seth dropped his brand new track ‘Run’. Throughout ‘Run’, produced by Styalz Fuego and Nic Martin, Seth reflects on his youth on the Mornington Peninsula in a contemplative and humorous way. He raps about ‘Jackets with 100 pockets full of chocolates//Lookin’ like a human piñata stumbled out of the IGA’ and sifting through bong water for nugs: ‘Pourin’ bong water through a tea-strainer//Seemed a waste to roll the weeks wages into 3 papers’. Now doesn’t that just make you feel fuzzy inside? This lyricism isn’t unfamiliar to any fan of Seth Sentry, but it’s great to see him maintaining this sort of flavour into new material.

Musically, ‘Run’ sustains a hip-hop beat and a nice little guitar lick which are built around in waves of synths, samples and filters to more asserted choruses and down moments. The clean guitar to me most effectively worked with the themes of the track, the clean channel reverb-packed tones of which helps to incite those feelings of beachy nostalgia. An issue that has plagued the production of a lot of contemporary hip-hop is overly ‘packing’ songs with different elements, particularly when string sections are used as a ‘Fuck yeah, this is epic’ mechanism. Here we don’t see that and the strength of the track (as it should be) is drawn from Seth’s flow and lyrical content. ‘I wrote most of it in my down time man’ something that has perhaps lent itself to the quality of said lyrics. So too, Seth suggested that he guides much of the actual music production; ‘Yeah when I’ve got a song written I know what direction I want it to be going in’, something that should hopefully maintain the good vibes put out musically of what we’ve seen so far in ‘Run’.

Recently at Beat the Drum, Seth got on stage with pretty much every other legend of Aussie hip-hop, including Horrorshow and Illy, to perform Hilltop Hoods’ track ‘Cosby Sweater’. However, we shouldn’t expect too much collaboration on the new record. ‘By the time I’ve got the songs written I just can’t find the space for them man’.

At the same time as dropping ‘Run’, Seth announced a national tour starting 20th of February in Brisbane, with a second Melbourne show announced after the first sold out. ‘I’ve never sold out a show this early on man, and I don’t think I’ve ever had to announce a second show so it’s pretty cool.’ Supports for the tour have also been confirmed: ‘I’ve got Coin Banks and Citizen Kay coming with me, which I’m fucking stoked about’

As our first taste of the new record, ‘Run’ seems to be in line with what we can expect from the rest of the songs.  ‘Well I think I chose Run [as the first single] because it really represents the album. Plus it was kind of the first track done’. This sort of styling has been influenced by where Seth is at in his life. ‘Yeah it’s way more personal and reflective… As you get older you sort of look back a bit more’. In terms of a release date, nothing has been confirmed as of yet and I couldn’t quite pry out of him; ‘Let’s just stick to the first half of this year [laughs].’

Scraw, you devil.
Scraw, you devil.

Right about here in the interview a cockatoo violently swooped into Seth’s house and caused a ruckus. I heard an ‘Oh shit!’ and some banging and squawking. Was this the death of Seth Sentry? A few seconds later, he burst into laughter; ‘What do I do? Do I go get some seed or something?’ I was pretty well stunned at what was happening and choked on my words. ‘Oh shit, I can touch it!’ Weirdest conclusion to an interview ever.

I think it’s safe to say that most of Seth Sentry’s fans reckon they could very easily be mates with him. I mean, he and I shared a moment over a cockatoo invasion. I wonder if he’ll write a verse about it? Be sure to catch him on his Aussie tour and keep an eye out for a release date for the new record.

THE BREAKDOWN

Hometown: Melbourne, VIC
Latest Release: Run, released on 10 December, 2014.
Sounds Like: Aussie hip-hop: The Herd, Hilltop Hoods and co.
Say what? A cockatoo hilariously destroyed our interview over the phone.

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