The Last Beautiful Day
Arts & Crafts
If you like... Maria Taylor, Feist, Sufjan Stevens, Julie Doiron
Kick-ass tracks: “Recovery,” “While You’re Away,” “It’ll be Alright,” “On Sunday”
q4 Buy q Burn q Frizbee
“Is this a dream? Yes it is.”
So insists “Yes,” one of 10 ruminative tracks unveiled on New Buffalo’s The Last Beautiful Day. Indeed, Beautiful Day is a dream — albeit a distinctively melancholy one.
New Buffalo consists solely of singer/songwriter Sally Seltmann, a.k.a. the latest addition to Arts & Crafts’ catalogue of indie darlings. Having several releases under her belt, Seltmann is far from a stranger to the music industry, so it is no surprise that Beautiful Day bears such a polished sound.
The album is comprised of uniquely charming songs, such as the lethargic “Time to Go to Sleep,” in which the listener is unknowingly, but willingly, seduced into listlessness and self-pity, and the delightfully optimistic opening track “Recovery.” Listeners will find themselves highly satisfied by the album’s end.
Seltmann masterfully combines softened rhythms, vintage keyboards, charming vocals, and thoughtful lyrics to produce what sounds more like an intimate symphony than any sort of solo work.
Although New Buffalo’s sound is more emotionally-charged than the typical Conor Oberst fare, its end result is nowhere near as depressing. In its straightforward and honest subtlety, this album proves itself to be a gem. Beautiful Day brings to mind fireside snuggling and hot chocolate sipping on otherwise dreary winter nights.