Although the Australian singer/songwriter might be most famous for her collaborations with others; such as co-writing Feist’s “1234,” and Seeker Lover Keeper an indie pop supergroup formed by herself and fellow Aussie songstresses Sarah Blasko and Holly Throsby; Sally Seltmann is actually on her fourth full-length solo album (and second under her own name; her first two were released as “New Buffalo”), Hey Daydreamer, which is out today on Arts & Crafts. During a recent chat Sally tells me that Hey Daydreamer represents a new side of her as a songwriter and is decidedly different from her last LP, Heart That’s Pounding, citing as primary influences Australian composer Sven Libaek, (best known for soundtracking nature documentaries) and her own state of mind.
“It feels really different for me. I came into my last album wanting to write more classic pop songs, whereas I wanted Hey Daydreamer to be more of this full-on emotional experience. I’m often just influences by where I am in life and when I began writing this record I was really exhausted, which led me to thinking about things like fear and loss and despair, which were things I didn’t really want to reveal on the last album.”
While Hey Daydreamer is certainly a full-on emotional experience, it also maintains the sort of whimsy of her earlier work. It would actually seem to be the perfect balance of the popular and the conceptual. I’ve described “The Small Hotel,” my favorite song off of the release, as having the perfect proportions of existential heaviness and playfully quirky hopefulness. Hey Daydreamer is sonically stormy… but the kind of storm that is equally exciting as it is scary.
And although there aren’t currently any US dates in the books for Sally Seltmann, the chances of them are likely better than ever, considering she and husband Darren Seltmann recently relocated to Los Angeles. When I ask Seltmann what she’s most excited for in 2014, this relocation seems to be right at the top of the list, in addition to a few more musical things in the works.
“I’m loving living in L.A. I do some writing for other singer/songwriters, which is much easier to do out here. And my publisher’s out here. That’s sort of why we moved here. But I’m really excited to be living in America. I’ve never lived in a different country before, outside of Australia. But that’s really exciting and I’m really excited to get this album out and maybe play some shows… And then probably writing more songs, because I really love writing new music.”