What if nursery rhyme and lullaby became dark and gloomy? Noise, punk, garage blues and psychedelia are just some of the adjectives; Blue Willa’s platter is quite a rich one. Eclectic and metamorphic, the formerly-named Baby Blue has evolved into this new project, brought to a head with the release of the self-titled album, produced by Carla Bozulich (Evangelista, The Geraldine Fibbers, Scarnella, Ethyl Meatplow): “Carla took care of our songs and sounds, proposing shapes and a whole new imagery for them. She made them feel aquatic, ringing and overturned: a sort of underwater punk rock music from the Thirties.”
They draw their name from The Night of the Hunter’s character Willa and the “blue” mood, which is a fairly common state of mind in the Mississippi blues. Once again, there is much more than the doom and gloom. From the Balkan-folk a là thus:owl to experimental dreamy-fuzz, Blue Willa follow a path, which has been already trodden by other Italian innovative artists, such as Aedi’s mystical spells. The recording sessions themselves became an active source of this fascinating melting pot: “We spent ten days in the Italian countryside, working side by side with her and our sound engineer, Davide Cristiani (…)This music then went on to be mixed and fixed on the Himalayan mountainside and in Paris: it is a pleasant thought for us to imagine that something from these places – as well from our provinces – got entangled and caught inside these songs.”
Cacophony and a hypnotic vibe (Birds) is quickly substituted by some primal hardcore and punk-splinters (Good Glue). The unexpected electro-beat suspension of Spiders displays a versatile approach towards what seems more like a stream of monologues, which are not led by anything except improvisation and emotions (Moan). Animals and creatures are listed during the evolution of the record, becoming protagonists in words and sounds, creating an additional layer to the ones already described. The subtle fuzz creates a sort of distortion, which is always perceived – like goosebumps under your skin, and yet not always getting to the surface from the background. In a simple, tribal and shamanic attitude, the vocals reinforce this mysterious aura, that shifts the blues-oriented sound of former Baby Blue, to the more mature and kaleidoscopic Blue Willa prism.
If you felt it was quite hard to follow my words, just imagine how overwhelming and captivating the music itself will be. In its mini-suites and experimental flow, Blue Willa’s labyrinth may be one in which you’d like to get lost.