As indie folk is emerging as one of the trends of this decade, there are more and more bands that like to mix in experimentation with the roots of rock and jazz, adding a lounge atmosphere and stoner tunes to the nu-Dylan formula. The Softone at its core moves away from the Black Crowes approach, shaping a solid sound that makes “Horizon Tales” a mix of country and jazz, rockabilly and Mississippi blues
The Softone is a solo project of Giovanni Vicinanza, a one-man band that easily jumps from the mariachi influence of flamenco guitars a là Dan Sartain (“Maramoros”) to a more lounge-ish atmosphere, created thanks to the female vocals of Emma Vicinanza in what could be described as a mix of Mark Lanegan and Isobell Campbell-esque blues/folk and the twee pop of Belle and Sebastian (“Allen Lanes”, “Get Together”). Reverb and surf guitars are the secret ingredients of the ballads a là Elvis, (“Never Forget”), after which the listener is thrown into the melancholy of Mississippi blues (“All that Noise”). However, blues is not just about nostalgia as “True Blues” and “Slide Down” prove: the influence of some other Italian blues rock acts (such as Vernon Selavy, Sadside Project and Movie Star Junkies) is mixed with the Tarantino-esque bass guitar of rockabilly. The sixties are evoked in the jazz-driven “On your Trial”, where nu-jazz mixes with some Beatles in the vein of compatriots My Foolish Heart.
“Horizon Tales” naturally jumps from the most distorted Dylan to the almost-burlesque folk of Karen Elson, almost without any faux pas (with the exception of “Never Forget”) . It’s the music of the roots reworked into a modern sound, and this may be the lead element of such a multi-coloured album.
[box title=”The Softone – Horizon Tales (Cabezon, 2012)” color=”#5C0820″]
Son Of A God | On Your Trial | Matamoros | Never Forget | Get Togheter | True Blues | Alien Lanes | It’s Because | All That Noise | Slide Down | Harmless Is Vulgar
Giovanni Vicinanza: vocals, acoustic, electric and lap side guitars, ukulele, electric bass, piano, percussions | Giuseppe Bottiglieri: double bass, classic and acoustic guitars, ukulele, percussions | Cartello Esposito: drum, percussions | Engineered and recorded by Giovanni Vicinanza @ Lavalab Recording Studio (NA) | Mixed by Cesare Basile and Giovanni Vicinanza @ Lavalab Recording Studio (NA) | Mastered by Alessandro Di Guglielmo @ Elettroformati (MI) | Artwork by Andrea Caccese [/box]