I want to start reviewing the music of the new year dealing with something not so fresh in terms of originality but at the same time very original for what it does. Have you ever saw me talking about a singer-songwriter? No. And what about a black humor one? neither. So here’s Fredd0° bringing his debut album La Crisi.
I’ll try to transpose the spirit of the Italian language into English, helping with the translation of the titles. Fredd0° means “cold”, and his record is easily understandable as Crisis. The crisis that he feels and let flow into the songwriting is the feeling of arriving at adulthood, already sick of life in the age where you’re not young anymore but still can’t identify with adults. Anyway, Fredd0° talks about things with some kind of sick clarity, like being crazy and conscious to be it at the same time. His music is mainly acoustic guitar and voice with the help of loop pedals to build the beats to play on, and some overdub when required. Despite the minimal tools, the arrangements are very solid and with lots of colors. From the first track Sveglia e Caffè ( “Alarm Clock and Coffee” ) that touches Oasis vibes while moaning about helping his grandma to fill some papers, to the final C’eri Tu ( “you were there anyway”) that puts an end to the album with a collage of overlaps of various recordings to create chaos, the overall feeling is to look at the life with tons of cynicism.
The two singles taken from the record are Black Friday and Action Painting. The first one deals with depressive stories revolving about sex and abuse, with a minimal video showing animated drawings that give life to the lyrics, like a child that imitates adults’ speeches on paper without understanding the bad words, all of this ironically played on “happy” chords. Action Painting is the sour story of a broken relationship in which regrets rise with the coming of the end of the year. The visuals are cuts of everyday’s life and memories.
The open chords that characterize Potere ai Vecchi and Fischia il Vento ( “power to the elders”, “the wind blows”) would have been natural in the folk songs by Led Zeppelin, spiced up by some dissonance and color tones and epic in attitude, guitars built like layers of a cake to reinforce each other. Oddly enough, when your ears get used to the cynicism, there’s still a bit of space for some “serious” poetry. For example, quoting the refrain of Fortuna ( “luck” ), you hear “luck, bring me with you, you’re the favorite bait of life, and I always get hooked“. That’s all the poetry has to say before turning down again into the dirt. In Skinny there’s the failed research of a new pair of trousers in a shopping center, ended up in being bounced out of the place, on a sort of mariachi ride on the acoustic guitar with heavy strumming and hints of blasphemy. The anxiety level rises in Famiglia ( “family” ), where dissonance is more used and there’s no place for strong resolution, in Davanti al Fuoco ( “nearby the fire” ) some indie vibes appear in the chord tones and the na na na that build the chorus, telling the grandfather’s stories nearby the bonfire, and blending them with contemporary stories of daily disgrace. Right before the finale, the tribute to Andy Kaufman almost touches the epicness of Man on the Moon by R.E.M. (a tribute to the same comedian), if not for the ironic bad jokes and the once more recurrent blasphemy, with the figure of Jesus laughing at us.
It may seem the recurrent and tired Italian indie proposal at the first few chords of every song, one man with an acoustic guitar standing in front of a microphone, but you forget the stereotype every time the vocals come in and destroy your positivity with cynicism and makes you laugh sometimes. Fredd0° isn’t a singer-songwriter for sensitive people, he lives between the extremes of hating him or loving him. I’m on the second side.
Written for you by Music Pills
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