Seeker Lover Keeper is the arresting meeting-of-minds of three of the finest female songwriters working today. Sarah Blasko, Sally Seltmann and Holly Throsby are all critically acclaimed, award-winning solo artists in their own right, and Seeker Lover Keeper is not just an album but a love token, a musical keepsake to cherish.
The seed for Seeker Lover Keeper was initially a way for the three long-term friends to tour together, singing each others’ songs every night. It was Sally who suggested instead that the three of them form a band, and Sally who came up with the name – “I just really love those three words together and how it suggested that one (of us) is the Seeker, one is the Lover and one is the Keeper.”
Seeker Lover Keeper became a haven where disparate song ideas that required outside help or another voice were traded and worked on – often one performer would bring a song to the table with someone else’s voice in mind, notably on the Sally-penned, Holly-sung single ‘Even Though I’m A Woman.’ Although Sally had written for others before – notably with Feist on ‘1,2,3,4’ – it was the first time Holly or Sarah had penned for voices other than their own, yet the result is a truly collaborative effort.
The album was recorded in just two weeks in New York, and produced by the band along with Victor Van Vugt (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Athlete, Beth Orton). Beginning with the hushed reverence of the Blasko-sung ‘Bring Me Back’, the 11 tracks that make up ‘Seeker Lover Keeper’ take in romance, affection, resignation and devotion, with music that is almost cinematic in its evocative quality. An early, and critical, song in the writing process was album closer ‘Rest Your Head On My Shoulder’, which was designed to be sung round the piano by all three artists. The song’s refrain “Rest your head on my shoulder and I’ll take care of your worries / It was you who promised this to me / It was you who offered me courage” perfectly encapsulates the spirit of unity and intimacy that emanates throughout the album.
Despite their separate successes and experience, all three members of Seeker Lover Keeper found the writing and recording process to be an education. When Holly brought ‘Light All My Lights’ to the group, Sarah and Sally were initially unable to grasp how she envisaged the out-of-kilter, double-time beat underneath the song, but as the three of them became accustomed to each other’s methods of working they all found new ways to write. “When you’re so used to singing your own stuff, you get in your own patterns” says Sarah, “Working with them shook me up a bit, in being able to get inside someone else’s world.” The more classically trained Sally brought her experience of music theory to the group, which was a totally new experience for Holly and Sarah.
As a result, ‘Seeker Lover Keeper’ sees the three performers crafting songs in new ways with always exquisite results. Whether it’s the lovelorn declaration and skittering beats of ‘Rely On Me’, the slowed-down blues of ‘Going To Sleep’ or the shuffling ‘Theme 1’, the album continues to surprise and delight with each new turn. Whichever of the girls – Sarah, Holly or Sally – is on main vocals, each song still rests on a bed of the others’ voices, such as on the gorgeous ‘If The Night Is Dark’ or the almost campfire singalong of ‘Bridges Burned.’ Lyrically the album encompasses matters of the heart and mind but also of the universe itself – ‘We Will Know What It Is’ is a gorgeously picked acoustic lament on the nature of life.
It’s clear that ‘Seeker Lover Keeper’ the album is the start of something truly beautiful – a band strengthened by the bonds of friendship and the individual experiences of life as a solo artist, who will carry on making music that intrigues and challenges each other and their listeners.
‘Seeker Lover Keeper’ is the first release from Microdata Records, distributed byADA/ Warner.