I can’t remember when I first heard New Buffalo. It was sometime in the middle of 2007, I downloaded her album ‘Somewhere, Anywhere’. Sometimes (often) I listen to an album and don’t really think much of it, and then I revisit it later and think ‘WOW, why didn’t I love this immediately?!’. This is why I’m sometimes reluctant to delete records from my ipod, because I might relisten and discover something I previously missed.
This seems to be the case with New Buffalo. New Buffalo is Sally Seltmann. Remember that song last year, it was kind of super famous, 1234? Feist had some fun with it. That song was also written by Sally. Feist’s career sky rocketed, but things seem to have stayed pretty much the same for New Buffalo. Sally is Australian, and doesn’t seem to play outside of Australia much, which is a shame.
Somewhere, Anywhere is a simple, lovely album. It’s mostly just simple music and Sally’s pretty vocals over the top. The reason why I’m suddenly attuned to Sally’s music is because Versary came onto shuffle on my ipod. I noticed the cute, poppy piano and Sally’s superb vocals, and then I felt ashamed that I had previously overlooked her. Etiher way, I like it now, and I recommend giving her a listen (or if you’re slow like me, 2 or 3 or 4 listens).
I really am a sucker for lovely, beautiful vocals (Emily Haines, Chan Marshall, Jenny Lewis, Jaymay, Annie Clark, Chris Garneau, Amy Millan… I could go on but I’ll stop now). I just think there’s something disarming about a beautiful voice. It really sends the song straight to your heart, especially in the case of artists like Chris Garneau and Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton, their songs are really… skeletal, and intimate, and then the gorgeous vocals over the top is just the cherry on the cake. Considering the nature of Chris and Emily’s songs, it makes them even more beautiful, it’s like someone playing the cello on your heart strings. It gives the songs a really, crushing, powerful effect. That’s not to say I don’t like group vocals, strong, harsh, whispery or dark vocals too (Scott and Seth Avett, Adam Stephens, Zach Condon, Daniel Johnston, Bodies of Water, Man Man, Conor Oberst etc etc). Those vocals are a different kind of beauty, haha.
I seemed to have strayed from the original post topic, New Buffalo. If she ever takes a trip over to London I’ll be sure to get a ticket and catch her show. Visit her myspace.