Ears Wide Open: Michael Seyer

Michael Seyer (Photo by Jerry Rangel)
Michael Seyer (Photo by Jerry Rangel)

Japanese city pop. Brazilian boogie.

Not exactly the influences that you would come to associate with bedroom R&B, but there they are in Michael Seyer‘s new single “Heaven Only Knows” off his forthcoming EP “Nostalgia.” Seyer, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter born in the Philippines and raised Gardena, has been quietly cultivating his living room lounge act across two self-released albums: 2016’s “Ugly Boy” and 2018’s “Bad Bonez.” Of the languorous “Heaven Only Knows,” Seyer says, “I also hold this song very special because I think it is really an accurate description of my perspective on love. This song was actually a poem I wrote before anything else and when I couldn’t find any words, I revisited my old poetry and found a poem, ‘I Don’t Believe in Heaven,’ and adapted it for the song.”

Citing his influences on the single, “I’ve wanted to write a Bossa Nova song for a while now. A lot of different types of Bossa Nova inspired this song, of course Joao, but also other artists like Masayoshi Takanaka and Yukata who created a sort of Bossa Nova/Funk fusion.” It’s true: Seyer, who previously played guitar in Bane’s World, manages to simultaneously blend the languid Gilberto-esque guitar strums and vocal delivery with a melodic backbone reminiscent of Takanaka on “Brasilian Skies” played quarter speed. Throw in some vibraphones, choice tootles on sax and the mood is set – a timeless track for a new generation of living room romantics.

“Nostalagia” is out Nov. 8 via Caroline.

||| Stream: “Heaven Only Knows”

||| Also: Stream “I Can’t Dance”

||| Live: Michael Seyer will play the sold-out Tropicalia Festival in Long Beach on Nov. 10.