Camelias Garden — You Have a Chance
(AltrOck Productions Fading FAD008, 2013, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-05-15On their first release You Have a Chance, this new Italian trio brings forth a sound that combines the best elements of folk, classical and classic progressive rock, with brilliant songwriting and superb vocal harmonies. At the core of the band is multi-instrumentalist Valerio Smordoni, who handles lead and harmony vocals, piano, keyboards, harmonium, acoustic guitar, and bass pedals, and is the band's primary songwriter. He is joined by Manolo D'Antonio on guitars, ukulele, and backing vocals, along with Marco Avallone on bass, bass pedals, synth bass and percussion. Where is the drummer, you might ask? The folky nature of their sound doesn't require a full time drummer I suppose, but the trio is joined by a number of guest musicians playing flute, oboe, cello, violin, and yes – drums, as well as an eight-piece choir, all deployed as needed. The band's lyrics are in English, but that doesn't diminish the 'Italian feel' of their sound across these ten tracks. The folky elements may remind the astute listener of some very respectable Italian bands of the past: Errata Corrige, Celeste, early PFM, as well as some of their contemporaries like Montefeltro and Eris Pluvia. When they get into full-on symphonic prog mode, there are the unmistakable influences of Trespass through Selling England period Genesis and Acolyte era Hackett. And what about those vocal harmonies? Two reference points I hear most often are PSR&T-era Simon & Garfunkel, and perhaps the softer side of late 70s Le Orme. It's hard not to like this, there are so many elements at work here that go so magically well together. Camelias Garden is where you want to be!
Related artist(s): Camelias Garden
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more