Melodic, evocative, sumptuous electronica... this perfectly describes De-Franco’s debut album Solastalgia.
Immersed in a captivating blend of acoustic and electro instrumentation, De-Franco fuses primal elements of progressive, minimal and tech house to create a boldly haunting sound. Add to this some cherry-picked smatterings of ambient, glitch, pop and jazz and the result is a rich, luscious brew that invokes deep sensations of loss, decimation, and ultimately the possibility (however faint) of hope and atonement.
De-Franco explains: “The album title came about from reading a New York Times article about Professor Glenn Albrecht and a philosophical term he’d coined, Solastalgia, in response to mining activities in the Hunter Valley in Australia. And whilst not an environmental album per se, I certainly wanted to explore a range of emotions in relation to aspects of that pain he described, that loss, that feeling of helplessness.”
Composed, performed and produced by the man himself, Solastalgia has been crafted with focussed love. Soul soothing one moment, bent out of shape the next, each piece is intelligent, deliberate and introspective.
From the opening track Solastalgia, through such titles as Anthem For No One, Conquistador (featuring Mexican classical guitarist Daniel Medina), The Tipping Point and Elemental Lullaby, emotions are delicately examined through sophisticated choices in instrumentation, melody and beats. The only composition flirting with convention, Sunlight Song, features an ethereal, plaintive vocal from Australian singer Rel O’Keefe, imploring us to reach for the light from the dark of despair. The lyrics with their oblique allusion to Hiroshima delivers chills.
De-Franco cites electronic heroes including Ennio Morricone, Massive Attack, Air, Jean Michel Jarre, Trentemøller, Pink Floyd, Vangelis and Yann Tierson to name a few. “I’ve always been attracted to tunes with great melodies – instrumental or vocal, electronica, rock, pop – it doesn’t matter. If the melody stirs me, then I’m in.”
So close the doors, shut off the lights, turn up the volume and embark on your own, personal journey through the intoxicating and heady sensory experience that is Solastalgia.
released December 19, 2014
All tracks written by Denis Franchetto except Sunlight Song written by Denis Franchetto and Rel O’Keefe.
Guitars, keyboards, programming – De-Franco
Vocals on Sunlight Song and other vocal samples – Rel O’Keefe
Acoustic guitar on Conquistador – Daniel Medina
Cello on Underside and Elemental Lullaby – Rory Dungan
Spoken word on The Tipping Point – Professor Glen Albrecht
Produced, recorded and mixed by De-Franco. Additional recording by Scott Mullane. Mastered by Matthew Gray. Photography by Sylvia Zirkelbach. Artwork by Slick.