SEETALI | Supplied

Love Letter to a Record: SEETALI on Vera Blue’s ‘Perennial’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter to a Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with the music they love and share stories about how it has influenced their lives. Here, SEETALI sings the praises of Vera Blue’s 2017 album, Perennial.

Naarm-based songwriter and producer Seetali Mack is better known under the mononym SEETALI. The artist released her debut album, It’s Not You; It’s Me, in October 2023. The record is steeped in collaboration, with the likes of Harriet Braat, Jack Champion, Kitty Rae among its ten featured guests. Listen to SEETALI’s Kitty Rae collab, ‘Learn To Let You Go’, at the bottom of this page.

SEETALI’s love letter to Vera Blue’s Perennial

SEETALI: I remember when I was younger watching Celia Pavey on The Voice painted as a folk singer-songwriter. Her voice and performance were exceptional. When I discovered she had been releasing music under Vera Blue, breaking out of the typical singer-songwriter bubble she was painted via The Voice, it took me back to my high school years. 

As a music scholar in high school, I was set up for a life of performance. I was trained in all styles of guitar, from classical to jazz to rock and contemporary. I got into a degree as a guitarist but after just one week I discovered the path of music production. I was never shown a pathway for a music producer but I was writing songs and kind of producing them in GarageBand. I never thought it was a career and I treated it as a hobby because for me, performing was the supposed end goal. However, moving streams is one of the best decisions I’ve made and what inspired me was Vera Blue’s Perennial

Perennial introduced me to electronic elements fused with acoustic sounds. It opened me up to the notion that I didn’t have to have just guitar in my songs, but I could have synths, pianos and 808s. Before, I used to deny my love for pop music as I found the charts cliche, but this record highlighted everything I loved about pop music and directed me to other albums like Lorde’s Melodrama

The album’s lyricism, performance and production encapsulates the feelings of heartbreak and curiosity for something bigger. Andy Mak is one of my favourite producers and songwriters and this body of work is a complete inspiration for me. The way the production interacts with the vocals is the epitome of the relationship between an artist and a producer. 

On this record, there is a song for everything. When I’m sad, I can relate to ‘We Used To’. I’ll probably be sitting in my car on the verge of tears screaming, “Now I have to get used to not doing the things that I used to / You have to get used to all the shit that you’ve done.”

As a female producer, I feel like I have to work ten times as hard to prove myself in a studio. The song ‘Lady Powers’ is my hype song every single time I feel defeated. It reminds me that, “I’m not gonna beg for your respect” and “I won’t be defined by your eyes.”

I saw Vera Blue perform live at Grapevine and honestly, I believe she has one of the best voices. I even ditched my friends who were going to Dua Lipa just so I could see Vera at the Forum in Melbourne. Sometimes hearing an artist live can be a completely different experience from their studio stuff and in the case of Vera Blue, her performance is ineffable. It was completely euphoric and her stage presence is just exceptional. 

I could rant forever about how much I love Vera Blue and Andy Mak. They are two of my dream collaborations and it’s no surprise Vera’s new album Mercurial is also insanely good. Honestly, both of their discographies will continue to make up 90% of my library.

SEETALI – ‘Learn To Let You Go’ (feat. Kitty Rae)

Further Reading

Vera Blue: “You Have to Open Yourself Up or People Won’t Feel Anything”

triple j’s Like A Version in 2022

Love Letter to a Record: tiffi on Bright Eyes’ ‘I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning’

Must Read