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Album Review

Seneko – ‘The Girls from Cedarhurst’ [EP] [Album Review]

Imagine Leonard Cohen fronting The Bangles or The Cranberries with a scoop dollop of alt-country; the result is Seneko’s ‘The Girls from Cedarhurst.’



Artwork for the album ‘The Girls from Cedarhurst’ by Seneko

The Girls from Cedarhurst is the fifth EP from alt-country/alt-rock artist Seneko, aka Stan Olshefski. The title track, co-written by Rod Thorn, is the only co-write ever released by Seneko.

Speaking about the EP’s inspiration, Seneko says: “I had been listening to a lot of early Grunge and Punk. As I began writing, I realized I wanted to be more experimental with the melodies and arrangements, and that process kept evolving right into the studio during the recording. I had a hand in producing along with Mike Purcell and Paul Scholten. I also worked with the same players as the last record lead by the guitar genius, Jon Conley.”

Along with Seneko (vocals), the players referred to include Paul Scholten (drums), Luis Espaillat (bass, BGVs), and Jon Conley (guitars).

Tracing the evolution of Seneko’s sound from his debut, self-titled EP, released in 2016, reveals burgeoning reliance on thicker layers of guitars, more complex melodies, and escalating songwriting dexterity. Yet the constant in his sound is the seductive imperfection of his Leonard Cohen-like voice, at once dusky and oh so breathily luxurious.

Opening with the title track, which rolls out on lysergic country-rock flavored guitars riding a viscous rhythm, the tune descends to dark, glowering interludes, followed by moussing back up to dense washes of guitars, highlighted by Conley’s snaking, luminous licks.

Entry points comprise “Sugartime,” with its light, grumbling drums and jangly guitar coloration. Seneko’s vocals imbue the lyrics with dreamy, erotic timbres. A sensual playfulness underscores the tune, giving it shimmering country-pop tints on the chorus.

The last two tracks, “I Knew She Would” and “Higher Things,” offer less experimental, more mainstream melodies, with “Higher Things” summoning up suggestions of Bob Dylan covering The Bangles.

Imagine Leonard Cohen fronting The Bangles or The Cranberries with a dollop of alt-country; the result is The Girls from Cedarhurst.

The Girls from Cedarhurst Track Listing:

1. The Girls from Cedarhurst
2. Motus Est Magicae
3. Sugartime
4. I Knew She Would
5. Higher Things

Run Time: 18:51
Release Date: February 17, 2023
Record Label: Independent