Friday, February 17, 2012

Porcelain Raft - Strange Weekend

Over the past few years, Mauro Remiddi has been recording and releasing songs under the name of Porcelain Raft.  As a result, a vast collection of singles, and even a few EP's, can be found across the internet.  A number of these sporadic tracks, such as "Tip Of Your Tongue" and "Come Closer", caught the attention of music bloggers and publications.  Whether intentional or not, this musical idea attracted an eager audience.  During the summer of last year, Porcelain Raft was signed to Secretly Canadian, and so began the journey to his debut album.

Remiddi's life has been quite a journey itself, having traveled around the word and back again.  Originating in Italy, the songwriter has ventured as far as North Korea, finding new homes in London and New York.  This album was created in a New York basement.  Experiencing these places around the globe surely shaped this album in one way or another.

An interesting note about Strange Weekend is that no previous studio, or in this case, basement recordings have been included on the record.  For example, the previously mentioned favorite "Tip Of Your Tongue" is absent.  That leaves listeners with ten unknown tracks to explore.  A couple of the songs have been performed live, so if you've been to one of his shows or heard a live set, you may recognize something familiar.  Aside from this factor, it's all fresh territory.

Strange Weekend kicks off with "Drifting In And Out", a perfect introduction to Porcelain Raft's abilities.  Everything is laden with echo, including Mauro's androgynous vocals.  A dreamy beat serves as the backbone to this adventure.  Lead single, "Put Me To Sleep" further displays his ability to create musical textures for your senses.

"Backwords" is honestly one of the most breathtaking songs I've heard in such a long time.  It's a beautifully tragic piece that I've been fascinated with ever since Mauro's Daytrotter performance back in May of 2011.  When the studio version of the song hit my ears for the first time, I was amazed by the track's transformation.  A stripped live composition had become this incredible force.  The song still holds a gentle touch, but it's now tucked beneath a tear producing climax.

The second half of Strange Weekend brings "Unless You Speak From Your Heart", which recently found its visual partner in the form of a music video.  The footage is reminiscent of a silent movie, as Remiddi moves about, quirky and suddenly with his mimicking partners.  This track may be the best example of how Porcelain Raft can do "pop" music.  It's bouncy and proves to be a successful upbeat moment.

The waves of reverb and distortion that embrace this album have captured a mood that sounds both incredibly triumphant and full of emotion.  It's similar to the sensation of relief one would feel after a deep heartfelt confession.  The album is a focused effort, with a beginning and end that feels right.  I would never take anything away or add another element.  This record is complete in its current form.  It's a short album, and maybe simple in concept, but it fulfills my every expectation with Porcelain Raft.

Strange Weekend paints an honest picture.  One man and his music.  Regardless of other artists or what people say, sincerity is always valued in music.  Listeners want that genuine connection.  I feel like Porcelain Raft has delivered just that with Strange Weekend.

Porcelain Raft is currently touring across Europe with M83.  He'll be back in the US with Youth Lagoon and then The Vaccines later this year.  For a complete list of dates, check out the tour calendar.  For more info on Porcelain Raft's music, head over to his website.

The Soundtrack Of My Life is giving away a digital copy of Strange Weekend to one lucky reader.  If you're the first person to go over here and enter in the unique code seen below, then the album is yours!

*code has been redeemed*

No comments:

Post a Comment