Exposé Online banner

Camelias Garden — You Have a Chance
(AltrOck Productions Fading FAD008, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-05-15

You Have a Chance Cover artOn 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!

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Camelias Garden

Latest news

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cast - Endless Signs – Cast has carved a niche for themselves in the neo-prog scene for good reasons. Their sound is very melodic and flowing. As with almost all bands lumped into the "neo-prog" classification,...  (1996) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues