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  The Bells of 1 2  
  Sol Seppy  
  Gronland Records  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:
  Brett Spaceman  

"In your heart, there’s the power to change everything."

Have you ever met somebody for the first time and yet somehow recognized them? There is something about the beguiling music of Sol Seppy that resonates deeply on an emotional level. That touches our core beliefs concerning hope, trust, and love. Above all, love.

Who on earth is Sol Seppy? Real name Sophie Michalitsianos, she has flown all the way around the globe (unaided, I should imagine) having lived in England, Australia, Greece, and the USA. Classically trained from a young age, courted by pop producers as a young lady, and contributing to landmark Sparklehorse albums, Sophie has waited her moment to present us with this wonderful, enchanting record. Why Sol Seppy? You may not think so, language purists may argue, but Sol Seppy is actually an anagram of ‘I love you so much’. It is. Keep looking. If you can’t see it, believe it. Suits her though, doesn’t it?

The songs on The Bells of 1 2 alternate between playful and regretful, though in each case the subject matter tends to be love. And when I say playful, I mean the way fairies at the end of our gardens might play. Flitting and fleeting just like opening song 1 2 before disappearing into the ether. The first words we hear are "The power…of Angels". Indeed.

Things stay affectionate on the anthemic Slo Fuz and the killer chorus that is Come Running. Move is just ghostly while Wonderland is a delightfully absurd tale about an artist. Half-poem, half child fantasy. Hear it to believe it.

Yet just as the monochrome artwork offers us contrast, so too does the album. If The Bells of 1 2 were any other colour than black and white, it would be sepia as we embark on a nostalgia theme, revisited several times and building to lavish climax on the final track Enter One. Think European cinema noir, a rainy walk through Berlin or Paris, a lonely gaze from a hotel room window across rooftops and chimneys. Sophie makes us FEEL. Her keys are laden with effects and reverb. Her words inhabit the same childlike, "grown-up but slightly bonkers" place as Bjork, Julie Cruise, and the godmother of them all, Kate Bush. Sophie’s voice though, is like honey-dewed teardrops and the whole album is drenched through with it. The arrangements too remind me fondly of Regeneration-era Divine Comedy, so much so that this could be a sister album to that fine work.

The Bells of 1 2 is exactly the kind of record that flies under the critical radar only to be re-discovered or re-appraised after it has garnered sufficient word-of-mouth, notoriety. Expect it to be in every 2006 review worth its salt and absent only from the ones we really shouldn’t bother reading. The music of Sol Seppy is like being kissed for the last time, glorious, yet heartrending. The moment only heightened by the fact that, by now, you’ve probably fallen in love.

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