Selma Mariudottir - 'Never Promised to Behave'

Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.

Last month, I first featured Selma Mariudottir in my ‘Independent Spotlight’ for her return to music, a track called ‘Unconditionally.’ I gave the song one of the strongest reviews I’ve given an independent artist or songwriter, and it spoke volumes in regard to her promising music composition career. Her new song is ‘Never Promised to Behave.’ Let’s delve into it:

As Mariudottir is the focus of the review, it makes sense to first tackle the composition and lyrics of the song. Essentially, ‘Never Promised to Behave’ is the story of two lovers who betrayed each other and cheated, only to find themselves returning to one another, both equally as remorseful. It’s an interesting songwriting perspective since normally songwriters assume one end of the spectrum: cheated or cheated on. It’s an intriguing perspective to look at a relationship where it happened on both ends. Similar to ‘Unconditionally,’ the track is well written and well organized, though it does follow a formulaic structure.  

Mariudottir has devised a recording of the song, one which was worked on with four different musicians around the world. The three session musicians click very well; musically, the collaboration is a brilliant success. When I was first provided this track, the initial vocalist was a detriment to the song. Now, the vocalist, a Serbian one at that, makes the track. Jovana, the new vocalist, is absolutely stunning. Her voice fits the song incredibly well and her harmonies and overdubs match song absolutely perfectly. There are multiple overlays of her vocals, all of which accent each other magnificently and introduce a very jazzy sound to the song.

Previously ‘Never Promised to Behave’ suffered drastically from its first vocalist. Now, the vocalist defines the entire song, elegantly classifying it into a beautiful jazzy ballad. The lyricism is fairly strong, and the musical prowess of the track is excellent. The production is also excellent. The song reaches its full potential with its new singer, and it’s certainly just as superb, if not more so, than ‘Unconditionally.’ Between both of these songs, Mariudottir has returned to music composition fiercely. She needs to continue this incredibly musical pursuit and complete an album or EP, because she has the talent to compose such a record. Her method of utilizing different session musicians on each track is proving beneficial and creatively unique, giving each song a dramatically different sound all while remaining under the umbrella of Mariudottir’s composition style.

Listen to the song: