Harmony-loving duo Seaforth are set to make waves at country radio with their debut single, “Love That” – a pounding-hearts anthem dedicated to romantic obsession which is almost guaranteed to hook fans on the first listen. And that hook is likely to stay put, too, since the Australian pair of lifelong buddies have much more in their creative bag of tricks.
Co-writing each of the four buoyant tracks on their Love That EP (out now), the lighthearted team of Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson’s signature vocal blend may remind listeners of Dan + Shay with just a touch of Keith Urban’s smooth swagger added in – and that’s no accident. Seaforth went big-time-or-bust for their first American release, tracking down one of Urban’s most celebrated producers, Dann Huff, to lead their recording sessions.
“Growing up, the biggest lightbulb moment of musical inspiration we had was when we discovered Keith Urban,” Thompson explains. “Country music isn’t as accessible in Sydney as it is in the U.S., so we had to work to find it. But as soon as we found Keith, we went down the rabbit hole and found artists like Hunter Hayes and Rascal Flatts, who are had similar sonics, and that all led back to Dann Huff. He was the person from day one who we wanted to work with on this project.”
After rocking this year’s Tortuga Music Festival and show bills with Kane Brown, Brett Young and Mitchell Tenpenny, the duo are set for the CMA Music Festival in Nashville and Chicago’s Country LakeShake in June. But first they’re hoping to give country fans a bit of insight into their fascinating backstory.
Speaking with Sounds Like Nashville about how the Seaforth partnership formed, the guys opened up about what fans can expect as their career gets underway.
You guys have known each for a little while – as in, you first became friends in preschool. What do you bond over at 4 years old?
Tom Jordan: We had a common interest in eating sand, that’s what brought us together. (Laughs) No, we went to the same preschool and we actually used to play soccer together. We have a photo of us in the under-7 magpies Seaforth Football Club – we were six years old and I think – and then as we got into high school is when we started playing music. I think I started just before Mitch did, and then around the same time we both fell in love with it. We did bond over music for sure, but we’ve always been friends even without music.
Mitch Thompson: One of my first memories is of a play date at Tom’s house, and we were sharing Pokemon cards and going over that, and I actually stole one of his cards. That put a dent in our friendship early on. (Laughs)
Listening to the music, it sounds like you have a lot in common. But is there anything that sets you a part?
Thompson: I think this sums it up; At the time I was first obsessed with Keith Urban, Tom was really into John Mayer. So I feel like his style and his playing sometimes leans a little that way, and my style can be more toward the Keith Urban thing. It’s like two personalities that you can see in the music and that separates us, but it’s funny. Everything we write, we’re always on the same page to the point where we can almost preempt what the other person is about to say. We’ll find ourselves singing over songs and coming up with the same melodic changes, so we’re really on par with each other like that. But I feel like what one person can’t do, the other one can, and that’s why the partnership works.
Tell me about the single. It’s called “Love That,” and it’s interesting because it’s both classically romantic and sort of about an unhealthy obsession – like you sing about “the pleasure and the pain.”
Jordan: It’s mostly just about the early stages of a relationship where things are still really up in the air, and that can obviously kill you a little bit, but it’s also fun. You have the chase and everything and you just kind of enjoy whatever it is in the moment. It keeps life very interesting.
Thompson: Exactly. We wrote it two-and-a-half or three years ago with a couple of buddies, Mike Whitworth and Daniel Ross, and it literally just happened with a few beers over an afternoon. We just kind of wrote it out and had a laugh, and I think that’s reflected in the song. It’s their first single to radio as well.
How did you decide on “Love That” as your introduction to radio listeners?
Thompson: I think that one was a dark horse, especially for me. After we wrote it I personally forgot about it, and then we would hear it again and go “Damn, it’s stuck in my head now.” And when we would play it live, that was one that people would sing back to us, and it just had the energy across it.
There are three more songs on the Love That EP. Do they all show something different about your sound?
Thompson: We didn’t intend on this, but yeah, the first EP is quite diverse and through it you can kind of see and feel all of our sonic style. There’s some tempo and a slower jam, and I think it touches all the bases in a cool way.
What can you say about full album?
Jordan: We have eight songs done right now and we’re continuing to work on the record, just trying to figure out how we’re going to put it out. We’ve been writing so much over the last year-and-a-half – ever since we moved here – and we’re just trying to piece together the most descriptive piece of work we can that sums us up as a debut album. It’s definitely on the way and we’re super excited, and proud of everything we’re creating.
What do you hope fans take away from first EP?
Thompson: I’m sure this goes for everyone, but I just want people to listen to this music and learn about us, and our relationship. We’re two brothers essentially, with lighthearted personalities – we don’t take ourselves too seriously – but also we tell stories and there really is a serious side to us. I want them to see both things, and inevitably come to our shows and have the best time they possibly can.