So there I am, moments after hitting play on Alessio Premoli’s Even Silence Has Gone, and I’m thinking to myself what a great acoustic guitar album this is going to be. On the opening track, “Barefoot in the Morning,” the playing is soulful and honest, the guitar lines so clean. And then like a giant flaming fist from space, this massive symphonic post-rock thing slams into the room and floors me. Hello, Alessio, you have my attention now. On his Bandcamp page, Premoli notes that the 10 songs here blend “…all that I’ve got involved with in the last two /three years (post rock, stoner, ambient, folk…)” and he delivers on that. Sometime, like “Barefoot…”, he mixes them together in cool, often unexpected ways. Then you drop into the ensemble of his acoustic guitar, sweet cello from Giulia Libertini, and gentle flute from Marco Miceli on “Hoarfrost” and you’ve landed in a spot-on early-Windham-Hill vibe. Take that setup, let it ride for a few minutes, and then lace in out of the clear blue sky, some big, shiny Spanish-style horns from Riccardo Feroce and that would be “Untitled #1.” The first time I listened to it, I literally said, “Cool” out loud when the trumpets dropped in. A favorite. Aggressive solo guitar with a flamenco pedigree is featured on “Painted Desert.” Here Premoli assails his strings with such vehemence that I kept waiting to hear one snap. But it’s compelling in its power. “Old Tjikko” takes us in the other direction, a folk-style piece that plays out patiently and lets the reverb of the guitar hum and fade. It segues neatly into “Another Place,” a beautiful post-rock song with vocals. Premoli folds the members of his ensemble smoothly into the mix, building off the genuine feel of the acoustic and working it up into a larger thing built on nice distorted guitar and a chorus of voices. The solo on this track catches my breath—it’s got fire and feeling to spare.
Even Silence Has Gone covers ten years of Premoli’s music, featuring older tracks and unreleased pieces. Normally I would not review an album of this nature, as I prefer to deal in newer music. But, honestly? My ignorance was bliss in this case. This is an album I quite enjoy. Its misses are few (I could do without the heavy-handed “Shipwrecks in Your Eyes”) and its gentle pleasures are many. Definitely give this a listen.
Available at Bandcamp.