Ben Sollee has a jazz pop vibe going on and it is extremely catchy. The Kentucky native (who admits he’ll probably never leave the state) has been playing the cello for most of his life which has been prominently featured on every single one of his numerous albums and he is now working on another full-length, Half-Made Man. While it is not easy to categorize Sollee, since he bounces from genre to genre every song, he does have the constant folk, jazz, and R&B style flowing from his lips. Sollee’s vocals are very soulful and remind you of Allen Stone’s raspy yet gospel-like voice. It’s the type of voice that make ladies swoon and the type of instrumental melodies that make everyone sway back-and-forth.
“How To See The Sun Rise” (second song on the above player) starts out with a jazz lounge feel with mallets hitting a marimba, drums, and Ben Sollee on the cello. Once Sollee starts singing, his opening line being “Well teach me, baby”, you hear the swift back-and-forth of a violin with the lighter notes of the marimba and cymbals crashes. The songs is split in half like the Nommo; on one hand you have this incredibly upbeat melody with soulful vocals, on the other hand the lyrics promote the idea of the singer’s unrequited love. With lyrics like “Teach me baby…/How to see the sun rise/ In the dead of night/ Cus that’s how it feels baby/ Cus you don’t feel that way too” tells the listener how Sollee knows his love is not going to be returned, just as you cannot see the sun rise at night. Sollee continues with many other metaphors about his love and how it cannot or will not be returned, but unless you truly listen to the lyrics you would think the song is upbeat love song.
There are those moments in your life when you fall in love for someone and you fall hard. There are also those moments in your life where you don’t realize how great someone is until you lose them. Seattle’s up-and-coming artist Susy Sundborg’s “I’ll Wait” is the epitome of these two sides of a relationship; the knowing during and the knowing after of true love. It’s a fantastic and beautiful love song that catches the intimacy of a relationship. “I have loved you all this time/ Oh, I will wait until we give this love a try” is how she opens the chorus and you get mesmerized by Sundborg’s slightly raspy vocals that are almost like she is whispering, but yet belting out her love. The song replicates a love letter to her beau in where she confesses how she might have made them mad, how she should have looked at them the same way they looked at her, how she’s scared to lose them, and other honest and intimate examples.