New Buffalo Somewhere, Anywhere

New Buffalo Somewhere, Anywhere

Sometimes the best thing an artist can do is go back to the basics. Or at least this is the case with New Buffalo. On Somewhere, Anywhere, Sally Seltmann, the Australian songwriter behind this one-woman project, strips down her sophomore effort to the essentials, wrapping it in stark simplicity and a delicate, bare-bones style. Unlike the dense haze of 2004’s The Last Beautiful Day, this self-produced album supplies little more than Seltmann’s breathy vocals, some electronic warbles and a century-old piano. And for the most part, this simple formula works. Tracks like stunning Brian Wilson-esque opener "Cheer Me Up Thank You” and laidback campfire song "You’ve Gone My Friend” keep a lot of air around the edges, shinning the light on Seltmann’s multi-tracked harmonies and intimate lyrics. Only once does the record break from its stripped-down approach, on orchestral pop number "Emotional Champ,” which is perhaps the most memorable track. Nevertheless, while Somewhere, Anywhere may not have the big pop hooks of New Buffalo’s past work, it still hits all the right emotional chords, making it a record that succeeds because of its simplicity. (Arts & Crafts)