The Seabellies

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The Seabellies
L to R: Antony Martin, Trent Grenell, Sean Kelleher, Steph Setz, Eddie Garven, Kyle Grenell
Manhattan, October 2008
Background information
Origin Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Years active 2006 (2006)–2015 (2015)
Associated acts Twin Lakes
  • Eddie Garven
  • Kyle Grenell
  • Trent Grenell
  • Sean Kelleher
  • Antony Martin
  • Stephanie Setz

The Seabellies were an Australian alternative rock band formed in Newcastle in 2006. The line-up included Eddie Garven on bass guitar; Kyle Grenell on guitars, percussion, bass guitar and keyboards; his brother, Trent Grenell on lead vocals, guitar, percussion and keyboards; Sean Kelleher on drums, horns and backing vocals; Antony Martin on keyboards, guitars and bass guitar; and Stephanie Setz on melodica, metalaphone, keyboards, bass guitar and backing vocals. Their live performances display a variety of instrumentation and multi-percussive layering.


Wave Your Fingers to Make the Winters[edit]

The Seabellies were formed in Newcastle in late 2006.[1] The line-up has included Eddie Garven on bass guitar; Kyle Grenell on guitars, percussion, drums, bass guitar, accordion and keyboards; his brother, Trent Grenell on lead vocals, guitar, percussion, keyboards, bass guitar and sequencer; Sean Kelleher on drums, horns, backing vocals, percussion and melodica; Antony Martin on keyboards, bass guitar, horns, percussion, and backing vocals; and Stephanie Setz on melodica, metalaphone, viola, saxophone, keyboards, bass guitar, percussion, sequencer and backing vocals.[2]

In March 2007 the Seabellies self-released a six-track extended play, Wave Your Fingers to Make the Winters. Sputnikmusic's Apocalyptic Raids rated it at three-and-a-half out of five and explained that the group "plays a dreamy and spacious brand of music not unlike The Arcade Fire or Mew. They also make use of a wide variety of instruments such as metallophones, melodicas and keyboards to accompany the standard set of guitar, bass and drums... Each of the six songs on this record contains the same whimsical, dreamy and sometimes intense atmosphere throughout, and at times it makes the EP seem like it drags on longer than it should."[3]

After three gigs the group won the Garage to V Competition,[1][4] and subsequently appeared on the main stage at the Sydney and Gold Coast V Festival.[4] They were featured as a Next Crop Artist on Triple J,[2] and won the Music Artist of the Year Award from 1233 ABC Newcastle.[5]

Digital singles[edit]

In 2008 the Seabellies signed to ABC/Warner and Universal to distribute a set of digital singles. The first, "Heart Heart Heart Out", was issued ahead of the group joining Australian tours by international artists including supporting an Icelandic group, múm, in March of that year.[6][7] The band played at the CMJ Music Marathon[8] in New York City in October. While in the United States they played in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Hollywood, including the Viper Room. They were listed in QRO Magazine both as Best New Band and as one which Will Break.[9]

In August they issued their second digital single, "Prairie", which Dom Alessio of Who the Hell described as "returning to their Canadian music influences, building a bombastic tune not alike that of Arcade Fire but compressing their multi-layered sound into more standard song structure fare. It's build nicely, there's plenty of textured harmonies, but at the time of writing this, the song hasn't grabbed me just yet – and I'm a fan of these guys. Maybe I just have to give it time."[10]

"Feel It Leave", their third digital single was listed as one of the Best New Releases of the Week by Max Hammer of Indie Rock Cafe; he opined that "Their music is rich and lush, full of ethereal electronic sounds, strings, metalaphones and melodicas, soaring guitars and Scandinavian-influenced melodies."[11]

By Limbo Lake[edit]

The group recorded their debut album, By Limbo Lake, in 2009 with Wayne Connolly producing at Albert Studios.[12][13] The group signed to Albert Music, which released the album on 16 August 2010 with Sony Music distributing.[12]

A reviewer for Beat Magazine observed that the album "asserts itself as a memorable record abounding in beautifully explorative, textural pop... [which] heralds the exciting development and impressive progression of one of the country's finest young bands... [Trent's] lyrics do, at times, appear random and nondescript as they're primarily melody-driven rather than idea-laden, but it's the dreamy landscapes traversed that are most appealing."[14]'s Michael Smith asked Trent why they took so long to issue their debut album, he explained "we figured it might be better to develop a bit and just take our time."[15] Smith felt that "thematically it might be an album about the tensions and struggles involved in its making, sonically the content couldn't be greater, as it washes over the listener with a subtle, sensual beauty of sound that sweeps you away. There's a brightness and almost celebratory quality to the music."[15]

By Limbo Lake peaked at No. 7 on the ARIA Hitseekers Albums Chart by October 2010.[16] Three tracks were placed on high rotation by national radio station, Triple J: "Orange X", "Young Cubs" and "Trans Ending".[17] Trent was nominated in the Popular Contemporary category at the 2011 APRA Professional Development Awards.[17]

To promote it they toured Australia before resettling in Melbourne in November for a residency at the Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy.[18] On the last night of their residency three group members were injured "after a violent street attack" where "Frontman Trent Grenell suffered cuts and bruises in the attack and keyboard player Steph Setz had whip marks. Bass player Eddie Garven was taken to hospital where he was given stitches in his forehead."[19]

Fever Belle[edit]

The Seabellies became a five-piece group in 2012 to record their second album, Fever Belle, with two producers: Berkfinger (a.k.a. Simon Berckelman of Philadelphia Grand Jury) in Berlin and Tim Whitten in Sydney.[20] It was released on 18 October 2013 via Shock Records.[20][21] The album was declared Indie album of the Week by Brag Magazine.[22] During November they toured Australia.

Early in 2012 Eddie Garven had formed another group, Twin Lakes, in Newcastle with his brother, Huw, on guitar and backing vocals; Dan Pavez on bass guitar (both from Ornaments); Jake Graham on keyboards, bass guitar and vocals; Garven's band mate from the Seabellies, Simon Kelleher, joined on drums.[23] That group's debut single, "Glacier", was issued in mid-2013.[23] At the end of 2014 Garven and Setz married in Newcastle.[24]



  • By Limbo Lake (16 August 2010)
  • Fever Belle (18 October 2013)

Extended plays[edit]

  • 2007: Wave Your Fingers to Make the Winters


  • 2008: "Heart Heart Heart Out"
  • 2008: "Prairie"
  • 2008: "Feel It Leave"
  • 2009: "Orange X"
  • 2010: "Young Cubs"
  • 2010: "Trans Ending"
  • 2011: "Board the Apartment Up"
  • 2012: "Paper Tiger"
  • 2013: "It's Alright"
  • 2014: "Berlin Horses"


  1. ^ a b "Big Sound 2008". Q Music. 10 September 2008. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "AusMusic Month 2007: The Seabellies Hearts Aus Music". Triple J (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). 2014. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  3. ^ Apocalyptic Raids (16 June 2007). "The Seabellies – Wave Your Fingers to Make the Winters (album review )". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Mathieson, Craig (21 September 2010). "Seabellies frontman hits the road in search of inspiration". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "Seabellies named artist of the year". ABC Newcastle NSW – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). 25 October 2007. Archived from [ttp:// the original] on 11 November 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2017. 
  6. ^ 'Faster Louder Tour Dates'
  7. ^ "múm Australian Tour March 2008". Handsome Tours. Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  8. ^ CMJ Metromix New York
  9. ^ "CMJ 2008 Recap". QRO Magazine. 26 October 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2017. 
  10. ^ Alessio, Dom (4 August 2008). "The Seabellies: 'Prairie'". Who The Hell. Retrieved 24 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Hammer, Max (8 May 2010). "Best New Releases of the Week, Part Two: Seabellies, The Tim and Sam Band, Inspired Flights". Indie Rock Cafe. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Seabellies (2010), By Limbo Lake, Seabellies : Distributed by Sony Music, retrieved 25 March 2017 
  13. ^ "Lowdown: Seabellies on Parade" (PDF). Time Off (722). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 March 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  14. ^ "Seabellies: By Limbo Lake". Beat Magazine. Furst Media. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  15. ^ a b Smith, Michael (25 August 2010). "Sounds Like...". Drum Media Sydney. p. 39. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "Week Commencing ~ 11th October 2010 ~ Issue #1073" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (1073): 21. 11 October 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 October 2010. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  17. ^ a b "2011 APRA Professional Development Awards: Popular Contemporary Finalists". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  18. ^ Cashmere, Paul (29 September 2010). "Seabellies to Move to Melbourne". Undercover News. Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman. Archived from the original on 17 May 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2017. 
  19. ^ Edwards, Amy (3 December 2010). "The Seabellies Attacked on Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 26 March 2017. 
  20. ^ a b "Rock :: Seabellies – 'Berlin Horses'". AirIt. Australian Music Radio Airplay Project (AMPRAP). 21 October 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  21. ^ 'Seabellies website'
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b Milligan, Nicholas (10 June 2013). "Listen to: Twin Lakes". Meadowlake Street. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 
  24. ^ Bennett, James (1 December 2014). "Steph & Eddie: a Newcastle wedding photographer's dream". James Bennett Photography. Retrieved 27 March 2017. 

External links[edit]