HiFi Sean & David McAlmont

HiFi Sean & David McAlmont

Event Time Thu 14th Nov at 7:30pm-Thu 14th Nov at 10:30pm
Event Location Oporto, Leeds
Age Restrictions
Age restrictions: 16+
Oporto
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HiFi Sean & David McAlmont

Hifi Sean and David McAlmont release their sophomore album Daylight on the first day of Summer, June 20th, 2024. It follows their acclaimed 2023 debut, Happy Ending. The exhilarating suite of twelve songs on Daylight celebrates, expresses and explores the colours of summer. It will be the first of two albums from the duo in 2024 with the nocturnal sister album, Twilight, released on the first day of Winter. Daylight represents a significant moment in Hifi Sean and David McAlmont’s partnership. It was produced in a remarkable burst of collaborative energy, with both composers channelling and sharing. The writing, at times, seemed to guide the material with its own momentum.

The sound evolved within a specific set of deep influences, points of reference and inspiration to both artists for many years: club sounds, gospel, new wave, synth pop and soul. Not just sounds of the past reproduced, but contemporary, crystal fresh, future-facing and utopian in spirit and intellect. These are influences that have been cherished, dug into, lived in, loved, empathised with down to the bones, to the molecular specifics, to a level where emotion is the nexus of everything. Inside that dedication and focus, there are communications, encounters and rewards to disturb the very fabric of a listener’s reality: frustration, hope, love, loss, memory, the resilience of the spirit. Sounds that hold comfort and solace close; music that arouses joy, sustains elation, living and wild abandon. All accumulated into a sound that is so alive, a living thing.

The album’s twelve songs glow with this confidence, each a bold, concise statement. The eponymous opening track, essentially a prelude to Daylight’s spectrum of melodic and thematic pre-occupations, is a circling mantra: “Embrace. Daylight. Sunshine. Dance.” Joyously electronic and gorgeously invigorated by a Nigerian gospel choir, the chant was written from experiments using AI to research ideas related to sunrise. Pitching and repeatedly modifying questions, a series of words began to re-occur, signalling the musical and lyrical metrics that illuminate the album.

Daylight propels the listener along with an irresistible energy, a giddy pace instilled in the embryonic beginnings of the songs themselves. Sean describes the writing process as, “A kind of creative explosion that happened half-way through the album. It felt like we’d set out on a course. Like we knew where the ship was steering. Then suddenly there was a change. It was like ‘This is what we should be doing. This is it.’ From that point on it just kind of erupted. This kind of synergy, this spark, and from there the writing took off.”

The new direction in production came in part from a surprising event. Sean recently rediscovered a cassette recording of electronic music composed on a Roland SH101 when he was 14 years old (some of the production on Daylight comes from this very same synth). “Being asked by a Greek label to release it as an album out of the blue felt like this huge curve from the past leading to what I was doing now.” Sean says, “That gave me so much confidence, I thought, actually, I’m just going to go with what I did when I was 14 and be happy. This is my palette, and I’m just going to take it all the way this time.”

David also recalls this energy, “There was a period of writing, and a lot of material in place and then something different started to happen and it was fun!” For him, the album is also a shift in sensibility and mood from their debut release. “Happy Ending erred towards that sort of dystopian future. You know, like the future is looking dark. But that is not what Daylight is. We got over it! Happy Ending was more seductive. This is more BANG! The songs end, and then the excitement begins again, immediately! I love that.”

A rush of tracks evokes the shimmering haze of summer days, hot and balmy, by turns languid and energised. The songs tumble out one after another like a sequence of bright, dazzling pop flashes. Sun Come Up is a blistering baroque epic of super-compressed mystic pop. Its flower-power punk “Oh oh oh…” collapses back into waves of dreamy contemplation, “Waiting for the sunshine while the rain… every time… witnesses to the dark, sun come up, sun come up now…” David invokes dawn’s symbolic promise, his voice climbing skywards, dissolving into revelatory shimmers. For Meantime, David recalls the decade of British music he missed whilst living in South America, and celebrates catching up, referencing GMT’s place in the solar cycle theme, but suggesting “Our ‘Meantime’ is more psychic than physic.”

Venue

Oporto
33 Call Ln, Leeds LS1 7BT, UK