As we wrap up another premiere week, we are heading over to Italy where we find our next premiere as VENTS teams up with Sicily based artist Alessio Bondi for the exclusive premiere of his acoustic infused album “Sfardo.” The song is filled with fast paced, crazily infectious chords played in a sea of different rhythms and arrangements.
Alessio Bondì is an Italian singer songwriter based in Palermo, Sicily. Singing in his native Sicilian dialect, Alessio brings his culture heritage to life with poetic and intimate folk music. His debut album, Sfardo, will be released in partnership between Italian labels Malintenti Dischi and 800A Records in November 2017 in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Holland, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, Uk..
Sfardo, which means ‘strain’ in the Sicilian dialect, is an album of ten original compositions based around Alessio’s lyrical narratives that explore his childhood experience of growing up in Sicily, naïve tales set in contrast with songs that express romances of his adult life. The lyrical interweaving of childhood innocence and surrealist musical expressions of troubled relationships as an adult gives the record a dreamlike, nostalgic dimension. For example, on Granni Granni (literal translation Big Big) Alessio sings “with this song I built myself my own hut where I give shelter to my most sacred things, my first bicycle, wooden spoons, a quarrel, my abyss”. On the ballad In Funn’o Mare (Deep Under The Sea) he imagines an almost Daliesque scene: “During a night on the beach, suddenly the moon was wrapped in a huge blanket. I imagined I found myself at the bottom of the sea with a galleon hanging over my head”. Speaking about Rimmillu Ru’ Voti (Tell Me Twice), a hymn to seeking understanding from one’s lover, which Alessio chose to record solo, direct to tape, he says: “It’s the most intimate song that I have written to date, every time I play it I am almost overcome with emotion”.
Taking inspiration from international musical icons such as Devandra Banhart and Jeff Buckley as well as the legends of traditional Sicilian music such as Rosa Balistereri, Alessio’s arrangements are rooted in traditional folk music, but also incorporate a variety of styles such as South American percussion as featured on Di Cu Si with the Charango, a Talking Heads inspired groove on Vuccirìa (named for the open air market in Palermo) and a sweeping orchestral accompaniment on Un Pisci Rintr’a To’ Panza (A Fish In Your Belly).
In Italy, Alessio has been awarded several prizes such as the De André Award, and has performed across Europe. He has taken part in bilingual projects with overseas artists, such as his collaboration A Santa (The Saint) with the famed Brazilian songwriter Nega Lucas.
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