Everyone has an artist or two that they like to think of as their own little secret. Eve Selis happens to be one of those artists for me. Her baffling anonymity in the Christian and mainstream markets is through no fault of her own. Selis has released wonderful examples of Country, Folk, and Blues influenced pop for well over 25 years now and only seems to get better with each release. She started out on Broken Records as Kings Road but quickly started going by her own name, with most of her band intact (most notably, long time songwriting partner/guitarist, Marc “Twang” Intravaia) and has built up a loyal fan base that has stayed by her through nine albums over the years. See Me With Your Heart continues the impressively consistent quality of her work, an amazing feat considering the commercial indifference, as she writes or co-writes everything on the project, utilizing many of her favorite co-writers in the process (Intravaia, Kim McLean, Calman Hart). It is fair to say that Selis goes a little bit deeper than ever before on this collection (and that includes her already revelatory vocal prowess) as it comes on the heels of a year and a half sabbatical brought on by an injury. This long break gave way to unprecedented introspection and the songs are all the better for it. From Selis’ album liner notes:
“From the moment I started thinking about these songs I began a journey that has helped me to connect to a deeper, unconditional love for myself…and it was scary, painful, frustrating, joyful, expansive, and healing. These songs have changed me forever and allowed me to be whole again. My prayer is that they might do the same for you”
The record starts off with “Fearless Heart”, which finds Selis taking on a mid-tempo country rock groove while extolling living a life without fear, expounded by grace. The blistering roadhouse rock of “Still Have a Long Way to Go” is a fun song of playful self-examination, a necessary balance for the introspection that follows in the balladry of the title cut and the very personal “Can’t See Past Myself”, two slow burners that benefit from the deluxe, yet always tasteful production sheen created by sideman extraordinaire, Kenny Greenberg and the perceptive, powerful playing of the killer band he put together for the record. Also bringing some levity to a largely inward looking album is the laconically rocking, Rolling Stones inspired “Slow Down” which features some delicious slide guitar work from Greenberg as a lover begs her partner to “give her heart a rest”. “Little Wars” is a clever peek into the more piquant moments of a romantic relationship as Selis declares her willingness to “put down her sword”. “Already Gone” is a slow groove 70’s style country rocker that manages the neat trick of copping an Eagles title while sounding a bit like the artist that group started out backing . . . Linda Ronstadt. Perhaps the emotional core of the record, “The Man He Never Was” looks at a father/daughter relationship with disillusionment as the daughter realizes that the fairytale relationship she constructed was not a true depiction of her father’s character. The song carries an emotional weight that really sums up the strengths of this record. Honesty, authenticity, joy, heartbreak, self-discovery….it is all here in a package that will leave your toes tapping and your soul filled.