Seneko Climbs to the Top with New EP Soul Numbers
Seneko definitely knows what he’s doing on his most recently released EP, Soul Numbers. On this 5-track opus he proves he’s mastered the down home, almost country music aesthetic that typifies his approach to songwriting. One listen to any one of the tunes suggests that not only is he an accomplished musician, he’s also clever, witty, and even trenchant with his penchant for penning lyrics.
Best of all, perhaps, he knows how to get in and out of his tunes in time to leave you wanting more. Such is the case on what could likely be the most infectious of his cuts, “Jenny’s With Irene”. The heavy bass is vivacious, the drums keep the track moving, and the call and response style he flips with his all female background vocalists elevates the overall energy of the tune. Doesn’t matter that he’s lamenting his prospects for a babe who’s evidently batting for the other team. The very tinge of the keys and the wailing organ invite you to empathize while the vocalist shows enough discretion to abandon the lyrics for some well received spontaneous phrasing.
I mean, when’s the last time you heard some ‘sha la la la las’? This form of suburban scatting resonates through a couple of the different songs and, if not exemplified by Seneko himself, is perfected by his chorus of background singers. “The Devil Made Me Do It” typifies their efforts in which they manage to boost the singer on the track’s fun parts while pushing their way through the twangy guitars with panache. This one wins based on the sheer energy of the piano and the lyrics alone, which take a refreshing approach to the time honored topic of romantic relationships.
“Devil” is representative of Seneko’s performance on Soul Numbers as a whole. It’s a delightful voyage into the hip phrasings of a vocalist who at time borders on parodying his topics, many of them seem so tongue in cheek. On the “Callin’ of the Cause” the man’s all but tossed away his cell phone to the sewer and abandoned his secular possessions for, well, a higher calling. Shortly thereafter he’s pausing for a dramatic breakdown bereft of sound but clapping and the incessancy of the kick, before reasserting his fervor even more than before.
The lyrics, songwriting, and vocal production of this EP set it above the majority of the music vying for listeners’ attention today. And then there’s Seneko himself, the unpredictable wildcard who somehow makes it all worthwhile.