Claudio Cataldi is a Palermo, Sicily based singer-songwriter who plays music based in what I’ll call “modern rock”, but with pop-psych and acid-folk influences. I almost dismissed this album as not for Aural Innovations, but upon a second closer spin started to tune in to the psychedelic aspects of Cataldi’s music and deft use of multiple instrumental elements and effects.
Song of Hate opens the set and is a melodic accessible rock song with haunting spacey soundscapes in the background, and I like how the soundscapes slowly develop into a ghostly, seductive string melody. September Air, Let’s Go To The Secret Place, Self Esteem, and Unconfined are the songs that struck me as having an interesting blend of pop-psych and modern rock. Usually when I use the term pop-psych it’s in reference to a strong, and even blatantly retro 60s influence, which is not the case with Cataldi’s music. September Air consists of uplifting pop-psych. Let’s Go to The Secret Place is a bouncy, rhythmic pop-psych tune with a grungy edge. Self Esteem is similar but more like a droning psychedelic take on an early 60s crooning love song. Unconfined is a bit more 60s infused and includes sweetly colorful surf guitar embellishments.
A Magic For You is one of the more heavy rocking songs of the set, with much more prominent bass and drums, but also freaky effects that keep things interesting. Take Care and Cal venture into folk-psych/wyrd-folk territory, the former being a peacefully lilting song with beautifully droning yet melodic strings. And Cal is a gorgeously bucolic folk-psych song. But my favorites of the set are Final and Nowadays. Final is a drugged, droney, spaced out psych song with potent atmospherics and trippy slide guitar garnishment. And Nowadays starts off as pastoral, upbeat wryd-folk, but later develops into a majestic, spaced out rocker with Shoegaze guitar and multiple string elements.
Very interesting album. I had to listen to this several times before I could write anything about it so it’s a pleasure to hear something that challenges me a bit. Homing Season is currently available digitally, though Cataldi is looking for a label to release it in physical form. It’s his third album though I see even more at his Bandcamp site.
To stream and download, visit the Claudio Cataldi Bandcamp site at: http://claudiocataldi.bandcamp.com
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz