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ALBUM REVIEW: SALLY SELTMANN - ‘HEY DAYDREAMER’

This album was released two months ago but I was too busy around that time to do a review. While it seems a bit irrelevant to me to do an album review so late on, I still wanted to do it as I love the album and I think Sally is a class act that should be praised more for the wonderful work she does. So here it is :)

Sally Seltmann has had a very underrated but stellar career. For the clueless (like myself), Sally started her career back in 2000, under the stage name New Buffalo. In 2004, she released her debut album The Last Beautiful Day, an effort she wrote, played, mixed and produced completely by herself. She continued to exhibit her exquisite voice and lyrical genius on second album Somewhere, Anywhere in 2007. Unknown to most, she also co-wrote Feist’s huge top 10 hit ‘1234’, before releasing her third solo album – and first under Sally Seltmann – Heart That’s Pounding in 2010, and forming the Aussie indie trio Seeker Lover Keeper. Before all this however, she provided vocals on a track for electro outfit The Avalanches, and married founding member Darren Seltmann, who has brought his production know-how to her latest record Hey Daydreamer.

'Hey Daydreamer' is a wonderful introduction to the record and sets the scene and the tone for the rest of the album. I love the pizzicato strings and the horns, it's very quaint and quirky sounding. And Sally's vocals are so airy and dream-like. 'Billy' is a rather upbeat breakup song including the piano and accordian thus continuing the otherwordly theme. 'The Small Hotel' is an acoustic marvel and 'Needle in the Hay' has a great country vibe. I like how she dabbles in all genres but still sounds completely original.

'Dear Mr Heartless' is a perfect example of her accomplished songwriting and is along the same lines as 'Billy' in terms of contrasting a bleak theme with a cheerful tone. Jazzy number 'I Will Not Wear Your Wedding Ring' uses brushes on the drums and 'Right Back Where I Started From' has a fairytale feel to it in the harp. 'Catch of the Day' has a tropical air with it's African percussion and steel drums and 'Seed of Doubt' combines gorgeous piano chords and the glockenspiel with perfectly weightless vocals making it feel very fairytale like once again. 'Holly Drive' starts with a bounding piano intro and is another song with a country feel and finally, 'States and Spaces' is a perfect and positive way to close the album with the last line being, 'I'll never regret falling in love with you'.

Sally has stated that raising her first child lead her to writing these songs about “fear, guilt and doubt”. This same experience, however, has helped her realise that she no longer has to do it all on her own. Her songs may be pessimistic lyrically but the music is so upbeat, it’s like she’s trying to convey a silver lining.

Sally Seltmann is the one of the absolute finest at her craft and deserves so much more recognition. This album has such variety and so many influences musically but Sally puts her own stamp on it and has her own unique sound and it really does work. If you’re a fan of the female singer-songwriter then Sally Seltmann’s Hey Daydreamer is a definite must for your collection.

★★★★★★★★★☆ 9/10

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