With a nod to Jay Farrar and the Wallflowers, Seneko’s self-titled debut EP brings to the mind the nostalgic and warm harmonies of the formative early 90’s Americana. One reckons Seneko is emulating the sound from the scene that cemented the relationship of “Country” and “Country-adjacent.” Through churning drums and a faint phantom of accordion, it’s hard for the ear to pinpoint a geographic location for the lads (Connecticut) a factor that plays to their advantage rather than name dropping places of despondency and drunkenness.
Bolting out of the gate with “Blindsider,” Seneko passes on several whiffs of “And Your Bird Can Sing,” and appetizer that pairs nicely with the snifter of the Wilbury Brothers it serves throughout the song. It’s difficult not to imagine the group navigating down the tracks in cowpoke garb á la the “Handle Me With Care” video, replete with Jeff Lynne hanging out the window.
Seneko (otherwise known in CT as vocalist Stan Olshefski) is clearly enamored with identifying among the alt-country upper crust, and for all one knows is some secret encyclopedia of the discographies of Steve Earle et. all. When the EP takes a romantic turn on a cut such as “Angles in Kind” or “Monica Lately,” it’s as if Olshefski is becoming amorous towards the great Americana songbook rather than anything tangible. With a long play due in the spring, Seneko has the Tweedy 101 course down. Let’s see if he can produce Being There as his thesis.