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Full Version: NEW ALBUM: PIERS FACCINI - Shapes of the Fall
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PIERS FACCINI ~ Shapes of the Fall

Finally – a new album that I actually want to listen to! Piers Faccini is one of those interesting fringe artists who doesn’t subscribe to any particular norm and who certainly doesn’t fit neatly into anything remotely cube-shaped!! I just love that he uses his voice (and others) as an instrument. Not in an over-the-top kinda way and not on every song, but here and there - vocals that sensitively and tastefully serve the song - the way they mould to the notes and sit in the mix is pleasing to my ears. He can write, that’s for sure, and I also like the placement of the array of ever unusual instruments within his work. On his Bandcamp page he says "If my songs were maps I'd want them to stretch from the English moors to the Saharan dunes via the plains of the Mediterranean."

His affinity for the various components of his mixed ancestry is apparent in his music which IMHO is inventive, experimental and imaginative without being inaccessible or too avantgarde. He particularly likes to collaborate with musicians from northern Africa and what I suppose you might call the Mediterranean rim, and happily embraces the use of some rather different sounds – the aouisha, the guembri and large metal castanets known as karkabous, for example. These more exotic moments are tempered by gentle, reflective, English folk influenced pieces that remain anything but stodgy. I love his music; it’s edgy and unorthodox but also elegant and engaging - holds my attention.

It will take a few listens to get to grips with everything he’s saying here and I’m sure I’ll enjoy the unfolding. Meanwhile on the first hearing, there are two pieces that immediately speak to me …

“Foghorn Calling” – following excerpt from his website - He did the drawings and made the stop motion animation on this as well …

“Fog horns are the haunting warning signals sent out from ship to ship or by lighthouses along the coastline to prevent catastrophe or shipwreck.

In the second single from his new album, Shapes of the Fall, @PiersFaccini weaves a cautionary tale using this potent sound as a metaphor for humanity’s seeming inability to act on the warning sounds of its very own potential environmental collapse. Will we heed the foghorn in time and set sail for a brighter future or will mankind’s ship of fools break up on the rocks and be lost to the impending storm?

One of the hallmarks of Faccini’s unusual songwriting is to create original conversations between different musical languages and traditions. Here a guembri, the unique instrument belonging to the North African Gnawa traditions and played by the Algerian Malik Ziad is the driving force for Faccini’s plaintive voice, creating an unlikely marriage of styles and a kind of multicultural 21st Century driving blues. If the song were geographically situated it would be at a point dropped somewhere between an English moor, a Saharan desert oasis and a Mississippi crossroads.”

And this … “The Longest Night” …