Jeri Silverman
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Jeri Silverman

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Indie




"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

The debut EP from South African and now New York based singer/songwriter Jeri Silverman is a minor masterpiece in miniature. Some might assume this pronouncement to mean the work is flawless; it is not. There is a tendency, musically, to color within the lines a little too resolutely, eschewing risks that Silverman, in future work, will undoubtedly take and make payoff. There is a little too much modesty here and fitting to order; not a single track goes on longer than four minutes and, in an age when many EP releases wrongly clock in at close to the running times of retro full lengths, Silverman’s diminutive effort could be viewed by some as unnecessarily meager. Leaflike, however, isn’t a meager offering by any definition. Silverman’s songs might be short and to the point, but these brief sonic excursions are laden with superlative lyrics and atmospheric soundscapes that compliment her voice and words.
The EP keeps the musical pace slow and considered. The opening song “Anywhere But Here” unfolds, like many Silverman songs do, through a process. She clearly relishes building songs as she performs, introducing new elements along the way, until the listener sees the entire picture. Her vocals are equally patient. She is a careful phraser and much about the meaning behind her songs can be gleaned from the words she glosses over and those she chooses to stress. The same technique is in full effect on “G&A”, but this time it’s turned to much darker ends. The lyric exhibits the same sparkling talent that powers the other original compositions on Leaflike, but the echoes of violence and widespread breakdown haunt the point of view. The midtempo musical backing has a theatrical bent focusing first and foremost on atmospherics, but there’s plenty of melody here as well. One of Silverman’s best lyrics helps “The Fever” stand out. There’s a splendid mix of the vague and specific in the lyrics that she invests a lot of vocal capital in. Her voice rises and dips with palpable emotion.
The intense verbiage of “Rabbit” comes to vivid life thanks to another powerfully suggestive Silverman vocal. The real standout element, however, isn’t her vocal style but, instead, the beautifully fluid guitar playing courtesy of Silverman’s quicksilver hands. These are compact songs that never overindulge, but their most remarkable quality is how she’s able to pack so much power into these small packages. The most clearly commercial track on Leaflike, a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”, simmers with appealing tension instead of taking on the same flowing grace of the Mac’s original version. Despite the changes, it’s still quite a recognizable cover and will find favor with longtime fans of the song.
The album’s final song, “Leaflike”, embodies all the best qualities of the song title and the EP’s strong suits in one track. Silverman’s compositional talents stretch a little here and she finds ample space to incorporate many of the release’s familiar musical themes. It shows a sure sense of construction that closes things definitively. Leaflike is a memorable first sustained effort and Silverman’s talent seems practically limitless. This is an unique voice rising out of the indie scene and we’re certain to hear more from her.
9 out of 10 stars. -

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

Few releases in the singer/songwriter genre will capture people’s attention like this EP from South African born Jeri Silverman. Silverman heads a three piece band through these six songs that plays with relaxed, unflappable confidence and a keen eye for making the right decisions at the right moments. Much of the aforementioned quality can be ascribed to Silverman’s songwriting talents. Her skills are on remarkably full display for such an abbreviated release, but the brief running time doesn’t inhibit Silverman in any meaningful respect. She manages to do more with less and pack an impressive amount of imagination into a group of songs that never run longer than four minutes in length. If for no other reasons, this is an incredible initial offering due to the astonishing lyrical sophistication and good taste.
The EP is evenly divided between two distinct types of songs and even seems geared to gradually transform as it nears its end. The opening two songs, “Anywhere But Here” and “G&A”, lean more heavily towards the pop and keyboard-centric side of the spectrum. Melody is abundant, especially vocally, but these early songs play more like soundscapes than traditional compositions. Leaflike never amps up its tempos much, but the slow sway of each track will hypnotize many listeners and has a calming effect despite the darker hue shading her words.
A steady shift begins with the third song “The Fever”. There’s a light bluesy edge on this track that Silverman’s tough minded guitar adds when it dips in and out of the mix. It plays well against the electronica hovering in the background. Silverman’s vocal brings some of the same bluesy ambiance to the song. Two of the EP’s final three songs focus much more on the acoustic guitar. The first, “Rabbit”, is a metaphor driven lyric hanged on shimmering guitar workout and guided by steady drumming. It’s the more guitar centered song by far, but the EP’s title cut makes effective use of the guitar and electronica alike to strengthen another fine Silverman lyric.
The EP’s wild card is a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s stalwart classic “Dreams”. Silverman isn’t foolish enough to attempt outdoing Stevie Nicks and, instead, takes the song in a much different direction than the Mac’s legendary singer. The music has a less traditional air as well – geared more in a modern pop direction and far less reliant on guitar. Silverman never loses the melody, however, and her changes actually seem to focus the listener’s attention more in that direction.
This is as fine as a debut as any artist could hope for. Jeri Silverman’s multi-faceted talents will find an even wider stage on full length releases, but her talents are considerable enough to make for a power-packed EP release. Leaflike is surprising, traditional, revealing, and deeply moving. The center of it all is Silverman’s voice and its various guises will find a wide and eager audience. - No Depression

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

South African born singer/songwriter Jeri Silverman opted to keep things simple for her EP Leaflike, but the heavy lifting to make it happen fell to her. Silverman’s work ethic and clear-eyed artistic vision compelled her to handle the arranging and writing in its entirety while singing lead vocals and playing acoustic guitar. The band joining her on this collection is rounded out by Adam Christgau on drums and Dan Romer on bass and any additional instrumentation outside of that is handled by the band, usually Silverman, as well. This is an album that sounds like it was made a long, long away from the African skylines of Silverman’s youth – instead, her adopted home of New York City bleeds over into the music and gives each track sharp, urban focus. This is a performer with songs that won’t waste your time.
“Anywhere But Here” opens the release with brief, but sparkling piano runs that seems to lock into each other and spiral upwards. Synthesizer sounds add ambient color to the piece, but it’s never overstated. Silverman’s lyrics and vocal delivery work in perfect sympathy with one another and her instinctual understanding of how to best put over her words extends to a skill for wrapping her words around the music for maximum effect. Her dark lyrics take an even darker turn on the next track, “G&A”. The scale of personal dissolution grows even larger – it isn’t just mundane despair, like heard on the first track, but instead we are given a glimpse of impending total breakdown. The fall of the individual is equated with the fall of the world as a whole. The warm and luxuriously moving electronica backing track gives listeners an interesting juxtaposition.
“The Fever” is another superb lyric married to another understated backing track. The notable difference here, musically, is that Silverman chooses to punctuate the song more with guitar. Her fluency on the instrument belies her comparative youth; Silverman, like in her songwriting, has the touch and discernment of a much older soul. “Rabbit” expands on the guitar work evidenced in the preceding song. This is a song that you can take any number of ways; it’s easiest, perhaps, to hear it as a song about sexual politics, but Silverman brings a world-weary resignation to it that cuts into listener’s emotions. “Dreams” is an unexpected cover of the venerable Fleetwood Mac classic. Silverman wisely chooses to not ape Nicks’ legendary vocal and, instead, slithers through the lines with a slightly sultry air. The EP’s final song is the title track. This brings the best of disparate songs like “G&A” and “Rabbit” under one musical roof and strikes an entertaining balance between both aesthetics.
Jeri Silverman has a lot of growing to do, but she already comes across as a finished talent in many respects. There’s no sophomoric clichés here, no overwrought moments, or gross missteps. Leaflike is solid from first song to last and, occasionally, scales impressive peaks. Releases like this have a habit of flying under the radar, but the talent here burns so bright that missing it would be a shame.
9 out of 10 stars. - Music Existence

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

We live in increasingly cynical times and should do what we can to combat the tendency in ourselves. Familiarity does often breed contempt and the music world soon takes anything genuine and milks it into formula. Case in point – the female singer/songwriter. At this late date in 2016, we have a few archetypes, dumbed down with the hopes of scoring every last dollar. The sexualized pop star supported by a bevy of lawyers, producers, and songwriters while panting just enough for the camera to suspend the disbelief of viewers somehow convinced she might, under the right circumstances, be available. There’s the rocker chick songwriter, tattooed, invariably photographed in some variation of a “rawr!” pose intended to somehow demonstrate her rock and roll authenticity. The final example this review will offer up is the shy, sensitive songwriter with long hair and an acoustic guitar with achingly personal lyrics and a tortured yowl aimed for the hearts of twenty two year old women across the world. The success of these archetypes speaks more to the public’s need for them rather than the music world’s craven manipulation – the former shifts, morphs, and transforms while the latter stays the same.

Jeri Silverman defies these archetypes. She draws a little from each of them and brings her own personality to bear as a shaping force. The six songs on her latest collection Leaflike cannot be neatly labeled. The EP’s first three tracks draw liberally from the singer/songwriter tradition, modern and retro pop elements, and lyrical flights of fancy much more reminiscent of Joni Mitchell than Katy Perry. “Anywhere But Here” and “The Fever” are, arguably, the strongest of the EP’s opening trio. The former balances itself cleanly between two polar opposites – piano balladry and synthesizer driven pop music. The latter leans more heavily on electronica and pop elements in its backing track, but the eye-popping lyric makes excellent use of a number of literary devices and gets a masterful vocal from Silverman. Her vocal style is never unnecessarily dour or exuberant; these early songs make it abundantly clear that she is fully involved with every moment of the performances.

Acoustic guitar makes its presence felt more strongly on the second half of the EP. “Rabbit” and the title track are the chief beneficiaries of this added six string work, but Silverman isn’t content with indulging her folkie side. She continues bringing unexpected electronica influences into the mix and the resulting contrast helps present her lyrics in a much more dramatic way. The EP’s most surprising moment comes with her take on Fleetwood Mac’s longtime radio staple “Dreams”. Silverman, fortunately, never tries to mimic Stevie Nicks too strongly and even turns the arrangement in a different direction, stripping away the instrumentation from the original and stressing groove and affording her the proper space to sing from.

This is an interesting, well-structured album with solid songwriting and fantastic lyrics. Silverman’s vocals are more than able to carry the load and many will finish listening to this album feeling like we’ve only spotted the tip of the iceberg regarding her talents. Jeri Silverman isn’t a cliché and her EP Leaflike is a work of musical art.


9 out of 10 stars.

Shannon Cowden - Indie Music Reviews

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

The album cover for Jeri Silverman’s first EP, Leaflike, perfectly captures the title’s autumnal feel and features a smiling Silverman strolling through the fall day. It’s an excellent accompanying image for a six song collection that, in its own quiet and hard won fashion, celebrates endurance and continued open-heartedness in the face of personal struggle. These songs aren’t the clichéd coming of age chronicles we are often exposed to on debuts. Instead, these are tastefully presented musical landscapes inhabited by an individual voice full of poetry and passion. The South African native, now living in the New York Coty area, assembled an ace three piece band to tackle the material and recorded the album in the sunny climes of Southern California, but none of that Cali sunshine finds its way into these songs. These are songs about survival.

“Anywhere But Here” plays like a quasi-classical piano ballad that can never quite assume final form. This isn’t to say that the song sounds unfinished; instead, there’s a fragmentary quality about the song reflective of its melancholy mood. There’s deep longing percolating in the heart of this song and Silverman’s vocal invokes that viscerally without ever overextending the song’s credibility. The backing music continues along similar lines on “G&A”, but the lyrics take a far grittier turn than heard in the opener. Silverman’s up to the challenge of conveying these raw emotions and does so without ever, once again, lapsing into melodrama. She dispenses with similar challenges on “The Fever”. This is a lyric of great poetic understatement and does an interesting job of juggling strongly imagistic passages with more widely resonant lines. Silverman’s guitar playing comes to the fore for the first time, but it takes on a supporting role to the electronica and percussion.

Her acoustic guitar playing shares the spotlight with her voice on “Rabbit”. The metaphor that this lyric turns on is quite comprehensible and has a literary elegance that will surely surprise many. It’s more evidence of her well-rounded talent that seems impossibly developed for her age. Nevertheless, there’s no question listening to these songs that Silverman is a formidable talent destined to deepen and transform the scene. Her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” is far from a throwaway stab at mainstream attention. Many performers would have opted, firstly, to never cover the song at all and, if they did, follow the original to the letter. Silverman isn’t interested in that. This is a great re-imagining of a timeless soft rock classic and will surprise many.

The title song ends the EP perfectly. It is the longest song, not by much, and has the distinct feel of an effort designed to tie up any remaining loose ends or instances of unexplored potential. Silverman’s vocal is particularly affecting here and finds a perfect fit with the music. There isn’t a better song that Silverman could have chosen for this slot and it closes her EP release with the same grace and uncluttered sophistication that defines Leaflike as a whole.

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9 out of 10 stars.

Bradley Johnson - Indie Artists Alliance

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

Jeri Silverman’s six song collection Leaflike is a thoughtfully written and evocatively performed outing from a blossoming talent. This is no overestimation. The lyrics in each of Leaflike’s songs are remarkably specific without dictating meaning to the listeners, adopt an appealing stream of consciousness style, and often spill out with moments of genuine poetry that lingers in the memory.
Her voice is an outstanding vehicle for those words. It’s a trained voice, but much more importantly, it’s a voice so finely honed to its own potential that it can sound untrained at will. The arrangements and musical accompaniment are kept focused and stripped back. Running times on each of the songs has a similar focus – not one track exceeds four minutes in duration. This is an intensely driven, yet musically relaxed, effort to make the maximum possible impression on her target audience. Based on the material contain herein, Silverman’s intended listeners are pop fans with high brow tastes and a strong affection for melody. “Anywhere But Here” opens Leaflike with haunting piano work, presumably played by Silverman herself, and tempered synthesizer swells that fill the song at just the right moments. Silverman brings exquisite emotional range to bear in her vocal and it helps embody the quiet, but desperate, longing lurking within the song’s speaker. “G&A” evolves at a luxuriant tempo, never in any particular hurry, and Silverman’s singing takes an equally nuanced approach. This is one of the song where Silverman’s pensive side emerges much more and the music, the percussion specifically, matches her deliberate mood. The electronic pulse opening “The Fever” places listeners in a distinctly different mood and Silverman’s dark, action-oriented lyrics have a frighteningly vivid quality. Some faint acoustic guitar slinks its way into the song, but the track is largely driven by light drumming and keyboards. It has a good groove that you might find yourself wishing Silverman and her collaborators explored more deeply than they do. “Rabbit” exploits the potential for groove in these songs a little better, but it’s largely a spare, mid-tempo acoustic track with a breathing, but very deliberate approach. The deliberate approach once again extends to Silverman’s vocal. Her delivery maintains impressive consistency from verse to verse and she aims her voice just right to compliment the backing track as much as possible. Silverman’s cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Dreams” imbues the song with a haunted blue glow.
The smoky ambiance of her voice invokes twilit moments and creates a delicately orchestrated atmosphere for the song. She doesn’t attempt to replicate the original but, instead, uses it as a guide post for her own imaginative recasting of a standard. Leaflike ends with its title track, the EP’s longest song, but still at a manageable length keeping in spirit with the five preceeding songs. Chiming and evocatively recorded acoustic guitar opens the song before Silverman’s voice soon enters conjuring echoes of Tori Amos or Regina Spektor. Despite the serious thematic weight of the song, both her vocal and the backing track hold on to a surprising playfulness that balances the gloomy lyrical content. Leaflike is further evidence that Jeri Silverman is one of the most promising singer/songwriters rising through the indie ranks today, gender be damned.
Her fantastic lyrical skills, emotive voice, and instinct for writing compelling and fearless arrangements have brought her to a place where this album sounds like the work of a much older, experienced musical artist.

By Lance Wright - All whats rock

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

The title of this release might suggest some willowy folk inspired outing that plays everything by the numbers and sounds deadly earnest. Jeri Silverman, however, will surprise many with her cracking mix of surefooted pop instincts with a strong songwriting aesthetic. It helps her efforts immensely that she’s a technically gifted singer with the rare ability to utilize technique in a way that enhances emotiveness. Leaflike is a six song collection that covers a surprising amount of musical ground and never goes for the expected turn. There’s something dreamlike, yet concrete, about each of these songs that will impress many with their individuality. The production helps accentuate the material’s strength without ever glossing anything too much and it frames Silverman’s singing front and center while still leaving room in the mix for other elements to shine.
She eases listeners into her musical world with the entertaining track “Anywhere but Here”. Silverman displays a poetic and readymade facility for lyrically expressing discontent, but the most important aspect of that quality is how she never lets the theme drown in the expected for too long. Silverman understands, perhaps instinctively, that listeners embrace familiarity and predictability to a point, but too much of any good thing can distract or drive them away. “G&A” is musically sustained by its understated drumming and shimmering electronic textures. The title refers an acronym for some of the narrator’s darker musings, but as black as the lyric becomes, Silverman resists the temptation to carry it over the edge. In essence, this is the song’s subject – a life teetering on the edge of something momentous. Crisp acoustic guitar laces its way through another synthesizer and percussion soundscape on “The Fever”, but it isn’t a constant presence. One keeps expecting the instrument to assume more and more of a dominant role, but Silverman clearly enjoys tweaking expectations a little and devoting much of the guitar towards a compositional role makes for a better recorded work.
“Rabbit” is the EP’s peak moment. This is a full-rounded piece of songwriting that thoroughly exhausts its potential musically and lyrically. The well developed lyric revisits familiar themes but phrases them in a new way – it’s indicative of her talent for pouring old wine into new bottles. The same skill helps elevate her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” from a potential carbon copy into something like an alternate version of a well-known standard. Despite never writing the song, Silverman throws herself into the song like she did and stamps it with her own personality. “Leaflike” concludes the EP with a title song that, as such songs should, wraps up the EP’s themes in a statement moment that lingers after the music fades.
The EP, as a whole, is a statement moment. This is a potentially generational talent who will soon stand among the foremost songwriters in the genre. Barring the possibility that she’s some sort of prodigy, it’s obvious that this sort of talent is the product of smart support and Silverman’s hard work. Her musical and literary abilities are considerable. Their perfect marriage on Leaflike makes for one of the year’s best releases so far. - Gashouse Radio

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

In our global world of today, music increasingly carries one common voice. There’s nothing in the six songs on Jeri Silverman’s EP Leaflike to suggest she originally hails from South Africa. The music and lyrics she’s helped compose for this album are resolutely within the realm of shared experience. A brief perusal of the lyrics will convince you that she’s a deep feeling and thinking songwriter, but these aren’t poetry texts set uneasily to music. Instead, Silverman writes like someone keenly aware of the percussive possibilities in words and her vocals make excellent use of the material. The production has a minimalist slant, much like the arrangements, but also possesses a clarity that renders the EP’s instrumentation in exquisite detail.
The downbeat mood of the album comes through clearly on its opener. “Anywhere But Here” can be viewed through one of two lenses. Through one, the song is a beautifully ornate, even occasionally lyrical, piano driven reflection filled with inchoate longing that goes beyond its words. Others will hear this song as an imagery-laden wallow in despair and, perhaps, even a bit histrionic and overheated. When performers expose themselves to such a degree, like Silverman does here, the stakes rise accordingly. “G&A” maintains a close fidelity to the synthesizer sounds emerging only briefly on the first track and Silverman’s vocal style, winding and slow to resolve, fits the musical mood. “The Fever” signals a shift on the EP. There is a faint bluesy air, coming through largely in Silverman’s vocals, and snatches of acoustic guitar slicing their way through the music. Electronica, perhaps more diffuse than ever before, still guides the song melodically, though the EP’s percussion is a constant strength.
The shift signaled by “The Fever” finds Silverman’s sidestep away from pop affectations complete in the next song “Rabbit”. This lightly bitter reflection on complicated relationships benefits greatly from an understated Silverman vocal and a coy refrain that sticks in the memory. Her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” has a coolly stylish, streamlined shape and never treats the song too reverentially. Silverman makes an earnest attempt to show respect however and hits some of Stevie Nicks’ vocal marks, but this is certainly a different version in tone and tenor. The EP’s final song, its title track, is the best example on the release of how good things can be when Silverman’s genre hopping techniques find deep traction. There’s a smattering of electronica in the song acting as background color for the drumming and acoustic guitar. The lyrics rank among the best.
It’s a memorable close. The EP is an ideal form for Silverman to be pushing her vision right now – a limited canvas that concentrates her energies and strengths for maximum effect. However, there’s little question after hearing this effort that Jeri Silverman is ready for a full length album. Her songwriting has enough chops and literary flair to present well-rounded and intelligence popular music. Leaflike will endear itself to many. - Band Blurb

"Jeri Silverman - Leaflike"

South African born singer/songwriter Jeri Silverman is cut from familiar cloth. The texture of her multi-faceted talents, however, differ enough that she deserves consideration as more than just another competent member of a particular musical school. She is working well within the same traditions established by iconic trailblazers like Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks, but her music clearly draws from some of the same threads coloring albums from artists like Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, and Sarah MacLauchlan. Her latest release, an EP entitled Leaflike, does a good job of unintentionally revealing much of her musical DNA in a single word. There is a great deal of fragile humanity found in the work’s six songs, but there’s more than a smattering of the eternal as well.
Leaflike opens with the mid-tempo saunter of “Anywhere but Here”. The song initially sounds fragmentary, but listeners will soon realize that this song achieves its effects through accumulation rather than showing its hand at once. Synthesizer flourishes punctuate the track at critical points but never draw too much attention. Silverman’s vocals are fragile and deeply sensitive, but there’s an inner strength seeping out of her phrasing. The same is true on the EP’s second track, “G&A”. The song’s percussion starts off sounding sort of desultory, but it quickly becomes apparent that the backbeat intends on creating pockets of space in the song. Stylish guitar laces its way through the beats and more electronica peeks its way out from just beneath the music’s surface. “The Fever” elaborates more on the slinky groove hinted at in “G&A”. It also relies much more on a stripped back arrangement focused on keyboards and the rhythm section while Silverman lays down a relaxed vocal over the top.
“Rabbit” takes a distinctly different turn. It’s primarily centered on acoustic guitar and a surprisingly bluesy vocal from Silverman. As before, the arrangement meets its goals through an extended process rather than immediately revealing itself. The guitar work is unhurried and often quite elegant. Silverman’s cover of the Fleetwood Mac classic “Dreams” is dead on, but not because it offers up a carbon copy of the original. Silverman strips down the song to its essence and finds a vocal groove quite unmatched elsewhere on the EP. The same slinky elegance driving earlier songs like “G&A” and “The Fever” returns here and has a loose, confident grace. The EP’s title track closes the release. “Leaflike” follows the same acoustic slant heard on “Rabbit” with even greater sensitivity than before and Silverman meets its challenge head on with a delicately phrased singing performance that closes the release on an ideal note.
There’s quite a bit of depth to these songs, particularly in their imagistic lyrics, and their substantive musical qualities remain consistent across the board. Leaflike might be an EP but it hits listeners with the cumulative effect of a full length release. Silverman’s method of writing and recording, building atmosphere piece by piece, shows her clear artistic vision for its shape and sound. It works splendidly and offers tremendous promise for the future.
9 out of 10 stars. - Skopemag


Still working on that hot first release.



New York City based singer/songwriter Jeri Silverman plays acoustic folk that is contemplative, powerful and edgy. Originally from South Africa, Silverman infuses her melodies with rich lyricism and a fierce intensity. Her EP Leaflike was called "one of the year’s best releases" (Gashouse Radio) and "a minor masterpiece in miniature" (Indiemunity)

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