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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Solveig And Stevie - Zombie Lover EP

Solveig & Stevie – Zombie Lover EP
2013, Crystal Lake Records

Solveig Whittle (Shades Of Red) and Grammy nominated musician/producer Stevie Adamek (The Allies, Bighorn, the See Band) make up the core of Solveig & Stevie.  With the able assistance of Don Wilhelm, Solveig & Stevie delve into the musically unusual while exploring a folk/pop aesthetic that sidetracks into grunge and even electronic sounds.  Whittle’s powerful vocals and Adamek’s imaginative arrangements make for intriguing musical efforts that struggle to find traction on their debut EP, Zombie Lover. (Note: Only three tracks were provided for review).

“Zombie Lover” looks to capitalize on the zombie craze with a music noir monologue on a relationship that’s going nowhere.  Built on a guitar riff that you might expect to find in a metal song, “Zombie Lover” carries farcical lyrics and an over-the-top feel that will seem funny or odd to listeners, like an “in joke” that doesn’t translate well outside a circle of friends.  The music and vocals are rock solid, however.  “Creation” is a melancholic piece of dream pop that stumbles along in its asymmetric fashion, finding elements of beauty and isolation along the way.  Whittle’s supple voice makes this song work in spite of some pacing issues.  “Keep Your Eyes On Your Heart” uses a droning co-vocal style that is disturbingly dark.  Well constructed and compact, this song just never quite takes flight.
“Just Can’t Breathe” brings an interesting mix of grit and polish, with Solveig Whittle serving as vocalist on the chorus as contrast to a spoken word chorus.  The Spartan dance mix offered here is passable, but the implied passion sputters and gutters like a spark on wet ground.  “Fire” starts out in a post-modern aesthetic, but quickly turns into a solid piece of pop songwriting.  Solveig & Stevie mix their voices in wonderful measure on a quirky and ultimately listenable song full of dark shadings and a brilliant hook.  “Waiting On The Thunder” is a song full of latent desire.  Whittle’s almost clinical description of love and passion is compelling both for its sentiment and for its almost ambivalent energy.  Zombie Lover wraps with Menta E Rosmarino, a song that drips with melancholy and need.  It’s a moment of uncertain beauty that leaves the listener with a desire to listen again.

Solveig & Stevie struggle to find cohesion on their Zombie Lover EP.  The music is technically proficient, and Whittle has a voice that can create pedestrian traffic jams at rush hour, but it feels as if Solveig & Stevie are trying to do too much on the first three songs.  Things turn north after that, with the trio finding some magic along the way, but the overall impression is still a bit muddled.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
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