SEB talks through his brand new EP, ‘we were so beautiful’

SEB talks us through his new EP, track by track.
Photo Credit: ShyLouise

You can’t beat a classic love song. That’s what SEB is thinking with his brand new EP, ‘we were so beautiful’, comprised primarily of them. Experimenting with both sound and inspiration, it’s another step up for an artist who continues to impress at every turn. We asked him to run us through it front to back for our latest Artist’s Guide.

‘we were so beautiful’ is a project that represents a marker of who I was when I first got into making music into who I am after being able to make this into an actual career. It came about pretty much right after I put out the last ‘it’s okay we’re dreaming’ project, and I got a little burnt out from writing about myself. It felt like the only way I could grow as a writer and artist was to start writing stories outside of my own experiences. Which I’ve never done much of before because I was scared it wasn’t real enough. ‘we were so beautiful’ allowed me to grow and expand my voice not just sonically but also lyrically. I think that’s why it sounds the way it does, different genres within songs, breakbeats, lofi guitars and mangled vocals. It was a period where I wasn’t as much concerned with telling the truth as I was about exploring who I was as a creator.

loving u is harder

Each song is a fictional short story. ‘loving u is harder’ is about learning how difficult it is to care for someone who doesn’t care as much about you, while also being willing to let them go so that hopefully they’ll come back. This was the song that kicked off the whole project. Once I landed on this sound of breakbeats and lofi guitars, I knew I stumbled on something I wanted to explore more. A breakthrough I had within this song was using manipulated vocals as a hook, which is something you’ll see throughout the rest of the song. Vocal delays as hooks feel so uncommon when it comes to indie music, but it’s everywhere in hip hop from Travis Scott, Yeat, Playboi Carti etc. It feels so exciting and psychedelic.

i saw u leave

This explores the idea of not knowing what you have until it’s gone. You only realise you had the perfect person once they’ve already left. I wanted to continue playing with manipulated vocals and really push it even further into psychedelia. So on top of the delays, there’s a lot of pitching happening. I took a softer approach to psychedelia, where nothing is too aggressive and in your face, but it’s slowly bringing you into a deeper haze. Then with bridge, I wanted it to feel like a Drake beat, but if he was back in his bedroom. So it goes even more lofi and gets contrasted by these super modern trap drums and adlibs.


This song talks about the duality of liking the endearing traits of someone you love and also having those be the same reasons you end up getting hurt. I also find it a little funny when I get the crowd to sing this with me for obvious reasons. While making this, I wrote two different versions of the chorus. One was with just the effected “sugar honey ice ice tea” part, and the other was without. I felt like each was missing something, so that’s when I combined the two into the chorus you hear now. For the bridge in the song, I wanted it to explode into a whole different energy. Something about the chord progression reminded me so much of Stanley Clarke, who’s a legendary jazz fusion musician. So I wanted to take it as far in that direction as I could go. So that’s how you end up getting the bridge on this song.

moving on

With ‘moving on’, I wanted it to play out like an episode of Atlanta. Where things feel surreal, mostly because of the absurdity of certain situations. But really, that’s just what I think it feels like to be black anywhere in the world. That’s the feeling I wanted to give off with moving on. I started this when I was in a really deep binge of J Dilla and Q Tip beats. I got obsessed with having really fat and heavy-sounding drums over gentle, gentle instrumentation. Originally, I had a bridge that was a lot more jarring, but once Khary sent his verse, it worked so perfectly with the theme; it allowed me to sneak in that message of police brutality without it hitting you over the head, kind of like putting the medicine in the kool-aid. As a quick side note, that police siren you hear on the bridge, I made on my Moog synth, and I’m just so proud that I was able to make that work.


This is about the idea that home is wherever your people are. Throughout life, there are so many things that can get in the way of you being with them. While this was the first song I wrote not knowing it was for the project, it took me making ‘loving u is harder’ to know where to take this. That’s where you go from this login house sound, and I interject a bit of my Beatles influence with the bridge. There’s this descending chord progression thing that happens that I haven’t heard in many house songs. I was already using my Mellotron for the earlier parts, and that being an iconic Beatles-y type of sound. It just made sense to include that type of progression into the song.

i made mistakes

‘i made mistakes’ serves as the closer to the project. It’s you looking back at the ups and downs of your relationship and understanding you might have done some things to really hurt someone. This song ends the project in a similar way to how it started. Woozy lofi guitar and breakbeats. I was in France for a wedding, and we were staying in this castle. Playing my music while I’m working on it in different environments brings out different aspects I wouldn’t have thought of. So when I played an early version of this song, I immediately saw it to be more “catholic” sounding with pianos, strings, and I wanted to elevate it to that place while also keeping it really grungy. That’s where you get the outro drums, that totally come in and take over. That outro with the big drums, heavy droning bass and distorted vocals was how the castle felt. Sonically it was the way I wanted the project to end.

SEB’s EP ‘we were so beautiful’ is out now.