Somewhere, Anywhere – New Buffalo

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New Buffalo is singer-songwriter-pianist Sally Seltmann, an Australian with a name too plain for her voice. Somewhere, Anywhere has more to give than standard singer-songwriter love-me-do's, though the subtlety of her spare arrangements – typically just her and a piano – can grow flat and confining. When Seltmann crosses those limits, she thrives by including harmonies in “Cheer Me Up, Thank You,” or dipping into sonic effects near the end of “It's True.” It's as if they'd been up her sleeve all along.

She is more than gifted; you believe her pleading “Stay With Us,” sounding delicate even in pain. As another voice enters, the song deals a blow, but still needs one more round. Seltmann isn't emotionally baring it all, but she may not be that kind of singer. “Emotional Champ” offers lush textures that surround and gird her vocals' flat melody, restrained almost like Liz Fraser's. That comparison is useful because Fraser was, and is, surrounded by fellow musical auteurs like Simon Raymonde or the Massive Attack crew so that her voice – as delicate as it is – became part of a whole.

Fundamentally, Seltmann needs more sound around, over, somewhere near, her because her voice's power is delicacy, not force. She sounds best doing more than just singing at the piano, showing off a pretty voice. Hers has tinges of aerie mystique that might blossom in settings less solo and more symphonic.