Going Solo pt.II: Leaves and Stone, Hold on Photon

Again, I am on a train. Uhm, can you see a recurring pattern here? A lot of changes are coming, and I won’t lie to you, I am both overly excited and absolutely terrified. Oh well, cross your virtual fingers for me, please. In the meanwhile I have the second Going Solo feature for you, featuring a US songwriter a là Bob Dylan and an Italian Bryan Adams-esque band (two people…not technically solo, but I am quite sure you’ll forgive me for that).


Leaves and stone – The Dancer

All of us have been, at least once in our lives, exposed to a rom-com movie. No, I am not planning on going off about the intricacy of the plots or the random clichés. Try and focus on the music in the background, in its delicate soppiness, a bit too cheesy and yet immaculate for its setting. This is exactly what Leaves and Stone is proposing with its EP The Dancer. The Italian based project is composed of Giacomo Manfredi on vocals and Enzo Fornione on piano, which delivers a mixture of clearly-produced piano-pop with some remarkable hints of experimentations. Despite not being my usual cuppa tea, the more experimental bits attracted my attention. The minimal subtle electro-beat at the beginning of Untitled and the electric Bon Jovi-like guitar solo of Summer Sky are two examples of some potential, which may develop from the gloomy romantic pop into something a bit more Fab-friendly. For now, let’s get lost in the nostalgia.

Hold on Photon – Lucky Wind

Whilst waiting for the new Laura Marling, I may cure my folk fix with Hold on Photon and its minimal folky vibe. Hold on Photon is the moniker for Sean Glass, a guy from Helena, Alabama who started recording songs during his lunch breaks. From the Urusen-esque vocals to the Americana acoustic formula, Lucky Wind is a showcase of personal stories and rural soundscapes. The sound swings from minimal riffs to a stomping country-bluegrass (Got me Good) in a pretty natural flow, occasionally adding instruments such as banjo, cembalo (harpsichord or cymbal?) and electric guitar (Lucky Wind).The lyrics themselves drop some interesting and meaningful quotes, such as “Almost Died”, when “the doctor told me this may be my last week”  and he suddenly realised that “When I almost died I finally felt alive”, dropping daily-life philosophy pills all over its way. On the whole, Hold on Photon release is a collection of life and occasionally love stories (Nectarine), told using the best medium possible: folk tunes. Just to have a grand finale, I may borrow some more lyrics from the record: “I didn’t have to pretend to be happy again / because I almost died”


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