I spent a night with Selma Judith.
My relationship with Selma was not in the physical sense – strictly in the illusional sonics of music. An album is, after all, an invitation to spend precious minutes with a single or group of musicians as they escort you into their world to experience the euphoria of dance or explore the myriad of our human emotions.
The Danish artists’ debut collection is a personal, intimate and revealing experience. You’ll need to be comfy for this – Getting Angry, Baby is a long-play sitting.
A 20-track album from the outset may suggest a daunting, repetitive road; however, Selma delivers a cascade of attention-seizing tracks from the hair-pulling beginning to the soft caressing end.
Selma Judith is unafraid to take risks and pushes the listener into broadening musical horizons. As you listen, one could compare Icelandic icon, Björk, as the album and songs contort with similar mesmerising and audacious originality. Selma, in contrast, is far more soulful. A ‘Björk’ for alternative soul lovers.
I admire how the mix keeps Selma’s voice in the foreground. It creates an immersive experience drawing her directly into your ears and right into your headspace. With your eyes closed (music always sounds better in the dark), she manifests like an apparition.
Selma unleashes her frustration and anger at the outset with a sumptuous R&B title track Getting Angry, Baby (See the video below). Her anger wrings every facet of emotional vocal timbre. I’m reminded of the Rosamund Pike quote which says ‘Anger is not an accepted thing for women. And you know I do get angry. I feel it’s a very honest emotion.‘
The song recedes to reveal the simply outstanding R&B tracks Lava Dust and the equally stunning Blame It On You before reemerging in the destructive force of When I Scream (the sombreness of the strings is compelling) and Of Narcissism. Selma possesses a vocal style seeped in emotional intensity and a dark-edged drama I find utterly engaging.
The pop/R&B production of Hollow Grounds precedes an unexpected and beautiful R&B duet Don’t Fall feat. Mikkel Kjaer.
/ Though my mind wander off in darkness, I’m bound to be unsettling /
An album of honesty, this is just one of the many lyrics unveiling Selma’s profound revelations.
The rhythmic looped harp in the single Some Folklores holds a magnetic fascination and the production textures excite. Perfect for hi-res audio examinations is the superb track Heartbeat. Again, the audio mix impresses on this dreamy track similarly, I discovered my speakers glowed honey warm with every spin of the R&B gem – As Simple As.
Her concern for our dying planet – Our House is on Fire (feat. Greta Thunberg) is further illustrated with the menacing bass-line of the blues-folk single – Bleeding Blue. This album continues to propel and submerges you in the beauty and damaged areas of love and life – Broken / Her Instead (feat. Zaar), Love Decay, You Talk Too Much.
Selma makes light work reinterpreting the Nat King Cole’s hit Nature Boy, embellishing it with a melancholy twist. A professional harpist Selma also decorates the sonics of this timeless ballad with the gentle calling of horns. The single flows like cream into the following track – The Crows Tonight.
Through 20 songs, Selma Judith told me everything. She is wonderfully human – confused, sad, angry, frustrated but fundamentally and overwhelmingly loving.
I found this album reassuringly raw, varied and honest when commercial music feels almost abnormally perfect and glossy. Her stories reflect the complexities of life, the highs, the lows, the frustration in love and humanity. I may never know Selma Judith, but tonight we shared something special together.
You Talk Too Much, Lava Dust, Blame It On You, As Simple As, Heartbeat, Some Folklores.
Getting Angry, Baby - Selma Judith
Getting Angry, Baby is an intense, thought-proving collection with fierce interludes balanced with delicious R&B, classical, and avant-garde tracks. I love it. And I love her when she's angry.