Featured Album: The Bells Of 1 2 by Sol Seppy
SOL SEPPY: THE BELLS OF 1 2 (Grönland )
(This post goes out to iJamming! Pubbers Snotty Moore and Po1ntman, for recommending this album.)
WHO: A South London native now residing in New York’s Catskills: no, Sol Seppy is not my own pseudonym but that of Sophie Michalitsianos, who also spent years living in the great city of Sydney. Let’s just consider her a kindred spirit. And a unique talent.
WHAT: The Bells Of 1 2 is comprised mostly of delicate and poetic songs that seem set on extracting the romantic core from the most guarded of subjects. When her fragile voice is accompanied by a deeply dampened piano (as is often the case), Seppy finds herself in decidedly the same company as Six Feet Under finale star Sia (who, by concidence, is herself of Australian heritage.) But don’t get too comfortable: songs like ‘Move’ and ‘Slo Fuzz’ attack with the disconcerting, gothic and somewhat industrial bent of a Curve. Reassuringly, you can hear the South London accent prominently pronounced throughout.
WHY: The question might be, Why so long? Sophie’s been making music since she was five, and she’s now… well, she’s no longer a child. “I couldn’t see myself putting out a record before this,” is her explanation, though there’s also the fact that her admittedly overblown first attempt at a solo album went up in smoke – literally – when her Catskills studio exploded. Are we meant to read anything into that?
WORDS: “My name is human and I come from love.” ‘Human.’
WINNERS: Depending on mood, it’s either the disarming sing-song menace of ‘Slo Fuzz,’ the uplifting chorus of the otherwise menacing love song ‘Come Running,’ or the haunted house echo of the piano-and-vocal ‘Injoy.’
WHINE: The lo-fi recordings are no doubt a retort to her first attempt at recording solo, but they may deter some listeners. Plus, The Bells Of 1 2 demands peace and quiet for full satisfaction – and how many of us can afford a new album that luxury in our busy lives? Oh, and the fact that it hasn’t yet been released in America would be a crime if not for iTunes and the Internet.
WEB: The Sol Seppy site allows you to download the appropriately child-like video for ‘Wonderland’ while listening to four songs from the album. The Grönland Records site boasts of “being a fertile field where art and music are free to grow, where care and time invested over the years yield success.” They probably said that at Columbia Records in the old days.
WINE: An album recorded in the Catskills deserves something from the fertile Hudson Valley. Millbrook’s Cabernet Franc is pretty much the best red wine you’ll find in the region. (Even the Wine Spectator thinks so.) Its spicy, seductive, earthy textures are honest to the grape and the ground from which its grown, and seem apt for a record of such sensual substance.