Seed Holden is a moniker of Croatian singer/songwriter Ljudevit Ivić, currently based in Berlin. According to the artist, “Sometimes he performs solo, sometimes with a band but the core of his music stays the same - atmospheric and melancholic Americana/folk.” Ivić recently released Soldier On which is a nine-song album that runs around thirty-five minutes.
This is a beautifully organic album that revolves around intimate performances that are heartfelt and tug at your heartstrings. There were a number of times I was welling up. Sometimes it was from the vocals, sometimes the horns, etc.
The first song is “Pay” and begins with a sweet picking pattern on acoustic guitar. Ivić croons about a wild night. It’s deep and what I really loved was how the song progressed over time. There are percussive elements, subtle vocal harmonies and more importantly a sense of hope. It’s a great song reminiscent of Leonard Cohen and a highlight.
Next up is “Royal Canal” and similar to the previous song builds with a sense of hope from a foundation of melancholy. The nostalgia is deep but doesn't feel heavy or contrived. “Two and a Half Days” is another great song. The lyrics hit you in the heart when he repeats “I like being around.” I also loved when the horns arrived in the middle of the song.
“Wedding Player” is yet another song that unfolds in a beautiful and organic way while “White Lamb” sits on a bed of warmth and reflection. “Rabbit Hole,” “Henry Street” and “Vidi, Vidi, Vidi” continue to explore the signature sound he created. Last up is “Sedmica” which is a near perfect mix of melancholy, reflection and solace.
This is a powerful album that feels so human to its core. The emotional depth of these songs is consistent but never contrived or feels too focused on the artist. It reaches out and invites you into a emotional space that feels familiar and safe as if you were observing life for what it truly is. Highly recommended.
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