Musical spring pickings

What to watch for on Tuscany’s indie scene

Michelle Davis
March 13, 2018 - 11:00

As the belle saison approaches, our ears request pleasure first. Put spring in your step with record releases in 2018 from Tuscany’s ever-flourishing indie scene.

Since they surfaced in 2015, millennial quintet La Notte has been sending critics and fans aflutter with their alchemical use of indie-rock guitars and heartthrob lyrics—perfect if you want to put your Italian comprehension skills to the test. Their second album Volevo Fare Bene (Woodworm) features spellbinding artwork by up-and-coming paint-and-pencil master Giulio Noccesi.

Baustelle



Active since the mid-nineties and originally from the wine town of Montepulciano, Baustelle recently announced their upcoming seventh full-length studio album L’Amore e la Violenza vol. 2 (Warner Music), set to hit the charts on March 23. Frontman Francesco Bianconi’s signature melancholic vocals lead the way for elegant dance and pop-rock elements, giving rise to moments of exquisite emotional intensity. If this is your kind of sound, mark your calendars for their Florence appearance at ObiHall on April 16—it’s going to be packed!

Tundra Orbit



Florence-based trio Tundra Orbit is gearing up to launch their eponymous debut album this March. Produced and released by Tuscan label Elastica Records, Donald Renda, Leonardo Baggiani and Davide Mollo put forward a whirling cluster of astral psychedelia and dreamy soundscapes powered by imagination and improvisation.

One-girl-band Ariel Gun’s seven-track EP I0 delicately tickles the dark underbelly of vaporwave/techno. In describing her latest work, the artist states, “You can’t dance to it. You can’t read when you’re listening to it. It’s not good workout music. At all. It needs all your attention, yet it gives you nothing in return. It is strange and weird, and distant and oddly satisfying. It speaks about space, deranged captains and that flickering light you see out of the corner of your eye when you blink”. The first single Misty IS features ethereal vocals by singer-songwriter King of the Opera, who seems to have a finger in every pie recently, playing with Tuscan indie outfits Parking Lots, Verdiana Raw and Flame Parade. The EP also includes three remixes by Fricat, Form Follows and Elisa Bee—names you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of the Italian DJ-ing and electronic music scene.

If you’re on the lookout for breezy Mediterranean tunes, Florentine duo Piaceri Proletari’s new record Giungle su Giungle (Manita Dischi) brews up a contagious combination of foot-tapping jazz and swing layered with top-notch Italian songwriting reminiscent of the great Domenico Modugno (remember Volare?) and Fred Buscaglione.

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