Hey Day dreamer (Arts & Crafts)
Australian singer/songwriter Sally Seltmann is best known in Canada for co-writing Feist’s breakthrough song 1,2,3,4. It takes a certain something (Feist has it) to make that song not insipid. Seltmann has a lovely voice – high, clear, with just enough breath. Unfortunately, Hey Daydreamer employs 1,2,3,4’s cutesiness without the edge and mystique that could prevent it from veering toward twee. In fact, many songs (Holly Drive, Catch Of The Day) seem more suited to a children’s album than a mainstream pop release.
Songs like Needle In The Hay that combine major-key, classical-leaning piano with fast-paced diction and a hint of country twang are far more interesting. And the title track proves Seltmann knows how to write a catchy tune. Elsewhere, bursts of brass and harp flare up now and then, providing sonic diversity and interest. More of that colouring outside the lines would be welcome. Otherwise, there’s a lot of sweet cooing but not much to get excited about.
Top track: Needle In The Hay