Album Review: Counterparts’ Brendan Murphy Reviews... Seahaven’s ‘Halo of Hurt’

If you follow Counterparts frontman Brendan Murphy on Twitter or Instagram, or even if you’ve seen his band live, you’re probably well aware of the charismatic charm he exudes on a daily basis.

Whether he’s tweeting about pandas or egging crowds on to do better, Murphy is without a doubt one-of-a-kind.

For that reason and that reason alone, we knew he’d be the perfect person for our brand new review segment here on The Noise. Without saying too much, we’ll let the honest and outspoken frontman do the rest. Also, if you happened to miss out on Murphy’s excellent review of the dark comedy Thunder Road, head here.

Hi everyone. I wish I had a reason as to why it’s taken me so long to do another one of these, like I was crazy busy or some shit… but we all know that’s not true. I’ve been spending the latter half of the year drinking box wine and playing Magic Arena… and haven’t really been motivated to do anything besides that. The lifestyle of a mid-tier metalcore musician during a global pandemic, you know?

But enough about my crazy beautiful life, let’s talk about one of my favourite bands of all time: Seahaven. They released a new record called Halo of Hurt on Pure Noise and like I predicted, it’s my favourite release of 2020. Let me preface this by saying I’m in no way a music journalist and I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, sooooo I’m just gonna kiss the band’s ass and you can either read it or go do anything else.

Bit of backstory for you: I’ve loved the band since I first heard them. I think I was watching Sound and Fury videos years ago and stumbled onto a video of them playing “Head in the Sand” from their Ghost EP and was hooked instantly. I want to say this was during the Run For Cover hay day of the early 2010’s? You had bands like Title Fight, Balance and Composure, Daylight, etc. and they were basically the goto for anyone who liked heavy music when they wanted something a little more ~chill~ to vibe to. Lots of amazing bands/albums saw the light of day during this time, but for some reason Seahaven always stood out to me.

I feel like anyone familiar with the band has been dying for a follow up since 2014’s Reverie Lagoon, an album where we saw the band somehow manage to give us even more while simultaneously doing less? The album had this stripped down Pedro The Lion/David Bazan kinda vibe to it. It’s insane what they could do with a single guitar track that many bands can’t pull off when given unlimited resources. If I were in their position, I would be terrified to try and top any of their previous material since the band seemingly gets better with every release. To no surprise, they absolutely nailed it with Halo of Hurt. Maybe the pandemic is making this record hit me a little bit harder than it would under normal circumstances but this is exactly what I wanted. It’s dark, emotional, creepy at times, catchy at times, everything I can think of to keep my ADD-riddled brain attentive. While the record definitely has a bit more going on compared to Reverie, it’s both reminiscent of their older material yet different enough to be exciting and leave fans like myself feeling like the six year wait was worth it. 

I don’t really know what more I can say about it. I guess I could go into more detail about the way the songs on the album sound and all of that shit, but I’d rather just urge you to listen for yourself since I’m kinda tired of starting at my computer screen. Also, I need to go pick up Kenny’s Garfield ice cream cake for his birthday which is also today. Happy Birthday Sexy Kenny.

The record kicks fucking ass. 10/10. 20/20. 2020? Yikes. I love this band and I don’t think they could write a bad song if they tried. I hope you enjoy Halo of Hurt as much as I do.

Favourite tracks: Lose, Dandelion, Harbor
For Fans Of: music without screaming