Seth Frightening is : Sean Kelly. Currently based in London, England.
‘Avant-bard’ Seth Frightening sings damaged neo-folk songs with contagious sincerity, bearing the dried blood of the macabre. Drawing from diverse folk, noise and grunge influences, he weaves stories of clouded characters that reads simultaneously like a diary account and a news report of a car crash. He is the regretful drunk; the infant victim; the curious rubbernecker.
Five years has seen Seth Frightening (real name Sean Kelly) release a consistent stream of albums and EPs. He arrived in 2010 with the much-revered The Prince and His Madness LP, recorded entirely on laptop microphones to astonishing effect. Frightening’s 2012 follow up Don’t You Worry (Heat Death) was described as ‘…a constant exploration of timbre and ornamentation’ (UTR); in the same year he toured Australia with alt-royal Jonsi of Sigur Ros and New Zealand with Grizzly Bear – who hand-picked Kelly to support them. He’s gone on to share stages with the likes of Low, Neutral Milk Hotel, Jessica Pratt, Deerhoof and Kirin J. Callinan.
Ever prolific, Frightening’s work has culminated in 2015’s But We Love Our Brothers And Sisters. In his words, ‘…it is a deathly ode to the failings of love, the reality of being nothing and alone, forever dead in space.’ Released digitally on Frightening’s own Wellington-based label, Sonorous Circle, the album bears his signature knack for wrenching, off-kilter melody, deft textural experimentation and intimate, self-defining production. In the words of NZ Musician; ‘it’s eye catching. It’s evocative and emotional. It’s the kind of ugliness that you can’t help but feel a connection with.’