Sven-Erik Seaholm | Sotto Voce

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Rock: Americana Pop: Chamber Pop Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Sotto Voce

by Sven-Erik Seaholm

Acoustic Chamber Pop with clever but meaningful lyrics, beautiful melodies and cool production.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Waiting For You (Declaration)
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2:14 $0.99
2. Envy In A minor
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2:48 $0.99
3. Flicker & Fade
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4:41 $0.99
4. Aquiesce
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3:32 $0.99
5. Goodbye, Louisiana
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4:09 $0.99
6. Below The Fold
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4:40 $0.99
7. Turn Away
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2:51 $0.99
8. Gandhi Song
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3:42 $0.99
9. Have Love Will Travel
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4:01 $0.99
10. 3 Things I Know
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2:45 $0.99
11. Cry, Baby Blue
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3:56 $0.99
12. Ginger Girl
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2:59 $0.99
13. Ophelia (Special Bonus Track)
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4:18 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Singer and songwriter Sven-Erik Seaholm is a familiar name to fans of great Southern California music. His dynamic solo performances (and those with his band The Wild Truth) offer listeners a rare glimpse into the soul of a true pop artiste. His spellbinding brand of musical alchemy, deft lyrical talents and keen ear have kept his name near the top of the fertile San Diego music scene’s A-list for nearly 20 years.
Sven is also a well-respected record producer with over 200 recordings that bear his remarkable ‘Midas touch’. He has received multiple Los Angeles and San Diego Music Awards, including three for Record Producer of The Year.
Releases include "Passion's Little Plaything" (1997), "Upload" (2003), The Wild Truth’s "This Golden Era" (2006) and his latest offering Sotto Voce (2007).
This pop renaissance man’s myriad other skills include album art designer, he is a published photographer, and he writes a monthly column entitled The Zen of Recording


Reviews


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Craig Yerkes

Do I love it as much as "Upload"? Actually, yes, I do...
"Waiting For You" reminds me a lot of "Song" from "Upload" in the sense that it's a really cool invite to jump in Sven's music bus for awhile. I don't totally love the song on it's own, but the whole disc is better for it since it really sets a mood/tone. Of course, I always love when he layers his vocals like that.
I love, love, love "Envy in A Minor", "Flicker and Fade" and" Acquiesce"! To me these tunes have everything I want to hear from Sven. Spooky, sad, dark, emotionally vulnerable while also mysterious, playful and hooky...and always with what I feel like is a Rundgren-like mad scientist turned musician glee in the creation of it all. Sven-Erik Seaholm does the ‘quiet intensity’ thing about as well as I have heard anyone do it. The way he does these songs makes me listen in a very active way...I can't just listen passively when he’s in the zone like that. Dig Simeon Flick's nylon string work and also the way "Flicker and Fade" goes crazy at the end. Patti Zlaket is perfect on "Acquiesce" and those nutty chord changes/harmonic twists are vintage Sven. AND THE LYRICS...man, A+ stuff man...for my money, I love when Sven is putting his twisted spin on topics/scenarios that others may have tackled, but never quite this way. And skipping ahead, "3 Things I Know" falls into the same category as these 3 tunes, even though I didn't love it quite as much, it gave (and continues to give) me the edge of my seat listening experience and the violin is BEAUTIFUL.
"Goodbye Louisiana", "Below the Fold" and "Ginger Girl", for me, were effective but don't hold the same magical appeal that those mentioned above...more straight ahead and my guess is that plenty of people will dig them, but they are not the kinds of tunes I gobble up from Sven, although I must admit that "Goodbye Louisiana" is a masterfully written tune in the way it mixes metaphor with straight up reality.
I think it was a great idea to include those Gandhi Method tracks, plus the song about the band because it all does tie together nicely. For someone who hasn't listened to the G.M disc a million times like I have, I think the overall effect is a cohesive whole.
Do I love it as much as "Upload"? Actually, yes, I do...for different reasons and in different ways.
The analogy I came up with to describe the Sven-ness is this....I picture a bustling colonial town in the late 1700's and in this town, there are many carpenters who build their own custom furniture to sell and houses for people to live in. There is a commonly accepted level of quality that everyone basically sticks to, but there is one carpenter that stands out as unique because when you buy a dining room table from this guy, you will find that if you touch the underside of the table in a certain spot, a secret storage compartment opens up. If you buy a house from this guy, you'll find that the closet under the stairway hides the opening to a hidden passageway to the basement...plus you'll find a personal message etched sneakily into the woodwork on the mantle, etc, etc... All of the things you want and expect in the construction are there, but there is more to find if you look harder and the added, creative touches make the work stand out as utterly unique.

Will Edwards, San Diego Troubadour Magazine

Sotto Voce Is A Great Example Of Artistic Freedom
Just as the title Sotto Voce invites the listener to pry deeper into the phrase's actual meaning, the songs comprising Sven-Erik Seaholm's newest record also reward the committed listener by revealing more beneath its surface. These songs grow and mature as you listen. The album's title is Italian and refers to singing in a very soft voice, a literal reference to this record's unabashed reliance on the unique characteristic of the human voice. But, the meaning is metaphorical too. Sotto Voce trades hype for message, cliché for authenticity and in so doing, it speaks very 'softly,' drawing in those listeners who want to listen.

The instrumentation on Sotto Voce is varied and always amenable. From nylon guitar to Mellotron, the songs cover a lot of musical ground without straying far from a common thread. The album rolls nicely. Even the change up from bossa nova to acoustic ballad comes across as an interesting eddy in the current; a viewpoint from which to see things differently. Some songs are dense with arrangements and others depend on the more fragile constructs of acoustic guitar and lone vocals. The performances and collaborations on Sotto Voce represent a who's who of San Diego musicians. Ear-catching vocal harmonies, courtesy of Cathryn Beeks, Marcia Claire, Gregory Page, and even Seaholm himself help to present a unique vocal character throughout much of the album. Bass work by Scott Wilson, Marcia Claire, and Jerry Rig work impeccably with Billy Ray's in-the-pocket drums. Together the album's series of moods ebb and flow well together.

Overall, Sotto Voce is lush and dynamic, but only a few songs really have a catchy phrase. Three tracks stood out to me in this regard: 'Waiting for You' (with rich vocal harmonies), 'Turn Away and Cry,' and 'Baby Blue.' The latter two are remnants from an earlier band (The Gandhi Method), but they mixed well with Seaholm's other compositions. I also felt that some of the guest appearances were mixed so far in the back that I couldn't really hear them. With so many talents, I would have liked to get more definition from each individual's contribution.

As an accomplished record producer, it seems reasonable to imagine that Seaholm knows what he wants from his own music and how to get it on tape. In the end, the CD is a more personal collection of songs and, with many tricks up his sleeve, it appears that Seaholm opted to serve the songs more than the machine. Love songs mix with reflections on Hurricane Katrina and the contrast can be stark or refreshing, depending on your perspective. With its mixture of styles and topics, Sotto Voce is a great example of artistic freedom and is definitely worth hearing.

by , San Diego Troubadour Magazine

Simeon Flick

Being a singer/songwriter is at the heart of everything he does.
I recently made the pilgrimage to interview Sven at this musical Mecca in Allied Gardens and found a man still young at heart, happy and healthy, basking in a wide circle of dear friends, brimming with enthusiasm in the continuing fulfillment of his life's passion, and anxious to be seen as a singer/songwriter for a change, instead of 'local producing legend,' as he has sometimes been labeled. Sotto Voce should go a long way in this regard, since being a singer/songwriter is at the heart of everything he does.

George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune

His Most Accomplished Work To Date
Sotto Voce is the fourth solo disc by Seaholm, who is one of San Diego's most prolific and versatile indie music producers (with 100-plus album credits to his name). It is also his most accomplished work to date, beginning with the luminous ballad “Waiting for You,” which Brian Wilson would no doubt be happy to claim as his own. With few exceptions, the rest of the album is no less charming or enticing.
If the record industry wasn't imploding, I see little reason why a major label wouldn't try to sign this local music gem. For now, at least, the industry's loss is San Diego's gain.