Thursday, March 27, 2014


It does not happen often that courageous albums that so nicely touch my tastebud
It might be a non-rewarding and not so generous trait of mine, but I have developed a skepticism towards most records that are delivered via mail to my front door. This is based on a hard and ruthless empire - Twisterella has, to put it mildly, had a lot of "shitty" records and only a few have been worth listening to and even fewer have been really good. The interesting music you will have to look for yourself. This insight has been my guide for esthetic development.

One afternoon a couple of weeks ago there was a package from New York waiting for me when I came home from work. There was something there that made me react positively right away. The cover is definitely impossible to place in a certain genre which you will usually see in Twisterella's stack of mail. On the back of the cover there is a corpulent Italian-American man standing (who loves pizza according to the press release) wearing a knit sweater and very large shorts on a deserted beach with a pan flute in one hand. It's a great picture. I could make the conclusion right away that Rocco is not a pop-rock band who sees it as a "career opportunity" to be named by a web "fanzine" before ZTV and "Aftonbladet Puls" get in touch with them. Also, Rocco does not have anything in common with the old pack of generic "lofi", alternative country, post-rock or "electronica". It was very clear that Rocco represented something completely different. This "something completely different" naturally caught my eye, and when I played the record I was generously rewarded.

To give you a picture of what type of sound Rocco exhibits I want to mention something about the instrumentation: The music is built on pianos, trumpets, acoustic "bossa" guitars, waves from the ocean, theremins, pan flutes, harmonicas, drum brushes, horns, etc. The arrangements vary between more majestic Bacharach-inspired hits and more quiet instrumental pieces that reminds me of movie music. The mood level varies between happy and deeply melancholic.

They say that Rocco has been singing opera since a young age. In "Hold On" he shows his talent which is out of this world when the instruments and Rocco's soothing voice (which is an instrument in itself) work together perfectly.

"A Walk with Rocco" is not a perfect album. It does not have a great text and it has a failed cabaret theme, but during the best moments I associate this with favorite labels such as "el Records" and "Radio Khartoum" and favorite artists such as Louis Philippe, Ben Watt, and Pale Fountains (without the music feeling pastiche or plagued). I get a pleasant taste of jazz-pop and easy listening in my mouth. It does not happen often that courageous albums that so nicely touch my tastebuds are placed right in front of me without me having to look for them myself. Please send more records like this.
By Mattias Holmberg