Edge of Reason
As the mesmerizing lead singer and songwriter for blue number nine, Stefanie Seskin has been energizing the rock/ soul/ pop scene since 1995. A decade later, Seskin has reached completion on a new project, a solo album which gives audiences a new twist on her version of soul: The Edge of Reason. Fans of blue number nine have become quite familiar with Seskin's strong, sexy voice. She belts out her lyrics with sensual, at times bluesy flavor and sets the stage on fire with her infectious energy. For her solo project, Seskin maintains that same energy, that same soulful delivery, but there is another element here: a sense of maturity that allows Seskin to build around her previous work and create a new sound for herself. Seskin's compositions range from soft and airy to downright sultry, demonstrating an understanding of a variety of genres without being limited by any style in particular. On 'Chill Now,' Seskin delivers a jazzy performance that almost sounds like an ode to inner city hip hop flavor, while on 'I Just Keep On' Seskin delivers a performance that speaks to the heart of rock, with a passionate chorus that reverberates in your head like a dream. Seskin recruited the amazing Luca Santaniello as the drummer for her solo project. Santaniello's beats seem to ricochet around the skull, forcing your body to move with the groove. She is also accompanied by Marco Accattatis on bass and Luca Tozzi on guitar. Accattatis creates moving bass riffs for each song, sometimes following the drums and other times seeming to harmonize with Seskin's lyrics. Tozzi can lay down a guitar that sounds like it came straight from Motown or play softly, lifting Seskin's voice as if on a cloud. Seskin recruited a number of additional players for her solo project including bassoon, trumpet, some wonderful keyboards, and even an appearance by Terrence B. and Paul Munoz, from the band BELT, as back up singers. Added to this cornucopia of talent, The Edge of Reason also shines as a result of it's engineering. The addition of ambient noises, loops, and samples give her soulful songs a new and unique dimension. Central to each song is Seskin's beautiful voice and her obvious talent for writing meaningful lyrics. The subject matter of her songs moves from romance to loneliness, rejection, and joy and delivers a strong message for those who pay attention. Seskin is, above all else, a poet and a songwriter. 'I'm very emotional.' She says, speaking about her inspiration for songwriting 'I communicate much better in writing than verbally, so some songs are communications to the people in my life - things that I simply can't get out of my mouth in the moment.' Seskin's songs do seem, at times, to tell a story. Whether that story has a happy ending or not depends on Seskin's mood. 'Sometimes, the words aren't so nice!' She says. 'Other times, they are pure love.' Whether recording and playing with blue number nine or working on her songs for The Edge of Reason, Seskin is motivated by the desire to express through her music a sense of understanding between all people. 'I want people to know they are not alone in their struggles.' She says. 'Life can really suck, but people need and crave love and positivity.' With her music, Seskin not only empathizes with the woes of her fans but also tries to move them, giving them an inspirational message and a groove to help them through the rough spots. The Edge of Reason will be loved by fans of blue number nine, while it will also find a place in the hearts of people who respond more to the new version of herself as a solo artist. Each song is wrought with complex emotional character and a joyful passion evident from the delicate bounce of Seskin's voice to the splash that ends the tune. For those who have not yet heard, The Edge of Reason is an oasis of soul in a turbulent world, and Seskin serves as the siren for all of us lost in the sea.