Banjo Or Freakout – Upside Down EP Banjo Or Freakout – Upside Down EP

Banjo Freakout - Upside Down

Banjo Freakout - Upside Down

London based Alessio Natalizia has been honing his own personal brand of bedroom Psychedelica for over a year now, and yet few have caught on. It’s probably a sign of the times that the only reason that one might have heard of him before is due to a recent spot on a hipster –filled roster of Bloc Party remixers and a scattering of glowing reviews. Those who seek out stranger sounds always find them, though, and I for one am extremely grateful for coming across Banjo Or Freakout.

“Upside Down” is an inspirational slow burning anthem of optimism, and a more than worthy flag carrier for Alessio’s latest EP. It’s an incredibly ambitious sound for one person to be creating from their bedroom, and yet still manages to sound significantly different to most other artists in my iTunes. The EP doesn’t quite maintain the same standard of urgency or heart bursting emotion, but contains more than enough oddities and hidden sounds to remain as charming. “The Week Before” comes across as a stoned out jungle chant, the layered dreamy vocals still defying the idea that this is being done by only one person.

Elsewhere on “I And Always”, Alessio does a fine job of sounding like Simon and Garfunkel playing to no-one  but the wildlife in a rainforest. Whilst obscure references and psych-gaze are all well and good, it’s not something that we’d want to listen to day in and day out, is it? In fact, the Upside Down EP has that covered as well, on the emotional acoustic echoes of “This City Is A Fake”, which plays out with some delightfully sparse acoustic chords. Finally, whilst a remix of a song not actually on the EP may seem a tad self indulgent for Banjo Or Freakout, it’s actually a really nice refresher and summary of the EP itself. It’s a remix, and so is a pretty decent tuuuuune in itself, but it also reminds you of the EP’s strengths. Alessio’s characteristic dreamy, echoey one man sound is still here, yet the song itself is still superbly optimistic and, well….happy.

Having to judge it for what it is, an EP, and not taking into account my joy of realizing this guy, it’s a good EP. It’s probably not the best thing I’m going to hear all year, and regrettably its charm of having a DIY approach is a double edged sword; as I fear that it may be some time before Banjo Or Freakout is properly discovered by those beyond the reaches of the blogosphere. I would urge everyone to checkout his covers, (of which there are plenty) and previous releases. It’s reaffirms your belief in music and in the power of self that such quality output comes from one person.

1 – Upside Down
2 – The Week Before
3 – Like You
4 – I And Always
5 – This City Is A Fake
6 – Mr No (Allez Allez Remix)

Banjo Or Freakout - Upside Down EP, reviewed by Lemon on 2009-06-02T13:24:38-07:00 rating 3.9 out of 5

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