new music: echelon the seeker creates an indie afrofuturist fantasia for the 21st century on his self-titled debut #soundcheck

April 28, 2017

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK contributor

Here’s a theory: there’s literally nothing better than sweeping epic sci-fi concept albums. From the stunningly imagined future of Janelle Monae to the glorious absurdity of George Clinton’s universe to the queer optimism of David Bowie, and what the hell I’m feeling generous, the compelling gibberish of Coheed And Cambria. There’s something absolutely irresistible when an artist creates a rich world beyond the notes. On his self-titled debut, Echelon The Seeker weaves epic tales of hope and resilience over an infectious synth pop painted backdrop.

The album would be impressive on its own without Echelon’s mythology. A series of post-Prince synth squiggles married to soaring hooks and joyous guitars, the album is tied together with abstract interludes. If the hook to “Vesuvius” doesn’t make your damn day, there is no hope for you. Meanwhile tracks like “The Chosen Ones” and “Tyranny” explode out the speakers with anthems of self-love. This is the music we all need right now.

In an illuminating interview with Bandcamp, Echelon The Seeker describes his approach to actionable art:

“It’s a muscle that I don’t think we’re used to exercising yet. Actionable art means you have to go out and do something other than just move. It looks like going out and saying something. It looks like going out to your neighbor and making them aware. It means expanding your horizons, putting yourself in places you haven’t been before. Listening to music maybe you haven’t listened to before. It can be very uncomfortable, scary even. A lot of us view civil rights and history as something that’s happened in the past and not something that’s happening now. Actionable art means you’re constantly aware and constantly looking, and that can be burdensome sometimes. That can be very tiring, but it’s necessary.”

Follow Echelon The Seeker: Facebook|Bandcamp|Soundcloud