Seeland's sophomore album kicks off in spectacular fashion with 'Black Dot, White Spider'. Like hitting the ground running, the percussive krautrock rhythms set the pace for much of what follows.
Which isn't to say How To Live is a krautrock album, sadly it isn't - for 'Black Dot, White Spider' easily stands out as the highlight. But what How To Live does carry from those opening moments is the manner in which it fully embraces melancholy, wrapping itself up in it like a warm blanket.
Electronic music that genuinely captures emotion is relatively rare, that which captures the doldrums even rarer. And Seeland manage it with aplomb. 'Afterthoughts' is a delicious cruise through the uncontrollable feeling that is the wonder of hindsight. Title track 'How To Live' feels like an instruction manual for the lost that proves that, ultimately, none of us really know.
This could all be too much. The album's closer 'Been So Long' ends things on a pean to someone who clearly got away and admittedly if it went on any longer How To Live would be in danger of being suffocatingly down. But this isn't proper depressed music, it's just mildly fed up. And at 35 minutes it actually feels like a perfect little Autumn wallow: put on, get bummed out, then man-up and move on.