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Heart That's Pounding

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Album Review

With Heart That’s Pounding, Sally Seltmann steps out from behind her New Buffalo moniker to deliver her first album released under her own name. It’s a subtle difference, but then Heart That’s Pounding is a subtle album, despite its pumped-up title. The sound and tone of these songs are more or less in keeping with Seltmann’s New Buffalo fare; once again, her voice works equally well in girl group homages, reflective folk, and just about anything in between. However, her songwriting is more direct, and she manages to accomplish something that stymies many writers: crafting happy songs that don’t sound smug or cloying. Heart That’s Pounding is all about being in a more-or-less satisfying relationship and the challenges that presents. Seltmann sounds just as convincing on the contented “Harmony to My Heartbeat,” which celebrates togetherness, as she does on “Set Me Free,” where she asks for a little breathing room from all this bliss. As the saying goes, happiness writes white, and while Seltmann makes the most of the relatively narrow emotional range Heart That’s Pounding occupies, at times the album seems in danger of disappearing into a serenely sugary fog, since her voice is so wispy and songs like “On the Borderline” and “5 Stars” blend into an (admittedly lovely) blur. Despite her skill at crafting layered aural confections, the album is most striking when Seltmann goes for an intimate sound and confessional lyrics. “Book Song”’s chamber pop gives listeners the space to get into Seltmann’s world, and sounds like a lost song from Nico’s Chelsea Girl to boot; the album closer “Dark Blue Angel” offers a cautionary tale about keeping out sadness set to profoundly simple folk. Meanwhile, the clever storytelling on “Dream About Changing” and the doo wop coda on “I Tossed a Coin” prove that there’s more going on in Heart That’s Pounding than listeners may pick up on the first time around. A truly cozy album, these are songs that Seltmann can be proud to call her own.

Customer Reviews

Magic of her own.

This amazing woman has one of the sweetest voices you can lay your ears on.
At first sight I thought the same as you did: Another wannabe-indie-flick?
But that is so damn wrong! If you close your eyes and listen carefully to the 1st single 'Harmony to my Heartbeat' you'll find a magic of her own. Exceptional singer.
It deserves one hundred outta one hundred stars. Music world nees some sweetness all over the place.

D is for Dull

I Think This CD is Dull. I couldn't wait for it to end..... Sorry


Oh my. This is rather horrible. The painfully contrived lyrics make for quite a few cringeworthy moments.


Born: Sydney, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Singer/songwriter Sally Seltmann has been a part of Australia's independent music scene since the early '90s, when she played with the Sydney-based indie rock group Lustre 4 under her maiden name, Sally Russell. After a move to Melbourne, she tweaked her sound to include beats and keyboards and performed under the name New Buffalo, releasing EPs like 2001's About Last Night and 2005's self-titled remix collection, and albums including 2004's The Last Beautiful Day and 2007's Somewhere, Anywhere....
Full Bio
Heart That's Pounding, Sally Seltmann
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Customer Ratings