Last month, spirited and evolving Melbourne singer songwriter Shelley Segal released her new EP Strange Feeling. Melting Pot’s Kim Lajoie had a listen and had some pretty special things to say about it:
If this were a movie, we’d be in over our heads. The river runs deep, deep, deep. And it rewards repeated listens, revealing new nuances and stories.
‘Background’ serves as our gentle exposition. A mid-tempo folk band number, this song is clear and polished, all the while retaining the earthly smell of a fireplace in a log cabin in spring. The trumpets in the final stretch are a refreshing surprise, lifting the colour and energy in a way that is expansive and .
‘Strange Feeling’ follows as the second and title track for the EP. After a subdued introduction, the drums and strings com in to add a sense of sophistication and forward momentum. It’s a fascinating take on acoustic folk – in another universe, this could be a 70s disco hit.
‘Sidelined’ takes a turn for the cabaret. Lamenting a lover with a preference for ‘skinny bodies’, the song is a comment on individual resistance to the dominant mainstream culture and values. While most of the song keeps the tone light, the bridge – ‘For the first time in my life, I wished I was somebody else’ – is surprisingly personal and near-heartbreaking.
‘Leigh’ gives us a shift downgear as a painful one-sided letter to a lost friend or lover. No mistake – this is a lovely song – but the emotions Segal renders are lucid and crystal-clear. It’s almost surprising how such complex emotions can be described so plainly and yet so powerfully.
‘Cinema Chair’ closes the EP with a warm reassuring tone. It rounds out the listening experience in much they same way as ‘Background’ begins it – clear, polished and confidently understated.
Don’t forget to listen, visit, follow Shelley here:
Kim writes about the human side of music production (attitudes, psychology, workflow, etc) on his blog (blog.kimlajoie.com) and other websites. He also teaches music composition at Monash University and runs the record label Obsessive Music.