Saturday, September 14, 2013

CD Review: Solveig and Stevie's 'Zombie Lover'

Solveig and Stevie
Zombie Lover
Crystal Lake Records

Washington-based, Solveig & Stevie are Solveig Whittle and Stevie Adamek.  Solveig is the lead vocalist and lyricist, while Stevie is a musician with producer credits.  Zombie Lover is an album with seven songs that contain mostly Solveig’s vocals throughout.  The music represents pop and rock concoctions that contain a good degree of electronic, folk, dance, and alternative elements. There are guitars, drums, electronic programming, bass, and flutes that fill in the melodies. "Zombie Lover” opens with a grungy bass intro and heady rhythm section with a dark groove and female vocals that are rather light, yet authoritative.  The rolling guitars, percussion, and poetic vocals create an Evanescence-meets-Cranberries brew with a soulful folk vein.  The rock grooves are reminiscent of Jace Everett, too.  At any rate, the music is very moving, mysterious, and memorable. “Creation” opens with a light guitar tone and electronic blurbs and echoing, female vocals that are soft, soulful, and pop-focused.  The background swishes and atmospheric adornments lend an almost New Age feel to the music.  Solveig’s female vocals are sweet and clear, which are surprisingly reminiscent of Native American singer/songwriter, Annie Humphrey-Jimenez.  The miscellaneous background sounds of water, animals, and rocks probably connote the creation of the world.  The environmental noises coalesce perfectly with the New Age flutes, electronic embellishments, and Solveig’s angelic voice.  The keyboard adds a few soft touches to the music with a slight dance or pop theme straight out of the 1980’s.  However, the song is still rather futuristic and modern. “Keep Your Eyes On Your Heart” begins with a few guitar strums and tambourine-like sounds. A blend of mixed vocals produced in a folksy setting resembles a power-pop anthem.  The combination of vocals and guitars creates a full sound with lots of texture and catchy hooks.  The guitars and vocals are accompanied by punchy bass and an electronic shower of futuristic, industrial sounds that are choppy, heady, and punchy.  The combination of folk vocals and heady electronic embellishments are not very typical in today’s music, but it seems to work for Solveig & Stevie.  The songs ends with a mix of industrial sounds that are metallic and electronic. “I Just Can’t Breathe” opens with lilting guitar and electronic swishes, echoes, and a rap medley. The rap music breaks up the folk or electronic monotony, but all genres mentioned above are represented here.  Solveig & Stevie shows that pop, folk, alternative, electronic, dance, rap, and hip hop are not too difficult to work with.  There are symphonic vocals and arrangements that are catchy and unforgettable.  The swishy rap instrumental combines a little dance, chiptune, pop, electronica, and urban grooves with crystal clear vocals for a magical outcome that is not annoying, deleterious, or unnecessary. “Fire” begins with a few brisk, guitar strums that incorporate a little tambourine-like sounds and grungy, metallic, and industrial adornments.  The vocals are rather pop-based, but the music seems to evoke a little 1980’s vibe with modern electronica.  The playful vocals and edgy arrangements are rather fresh and unique without resorting to banal doldrums.  Once again, Solveig & Stevie create an unusual, but exciting song with lively flutes, piano, keyboards, bass, guitars, drums, and infectious grooves. Zombie Lover represents a diverse array of songs with different genre-defying tunes that incorporate a number of instruments, arrangements, and sounds for an interesting listen.  All of the songs are worthy of airplay, despite a somewhat incongruent mix of genres and sounds. Solveig & Stevie find a way to make it all work without sacrificing melody, rhythm, and quality. This is a top recording for fans of Americana folk/rock or bands such as Evanescence, Cranberries, Nina Gordon, and Jace Everett. ~ Matthew Forss 

1 comment:

Songstress said...

Thanks for the great review! - Solveig