When The Clouds: The Longed-for Season
Drifting Falling

Francesco Galano makes an auspicious debut with his half-hour When The Clouds EP The Longed-For Season. The Salerno, Italy-based producer has been involved in music-making since the age of thirteen and issued his first demo in 2004 under the name Eid Ethyca. The six preternaturally assured settings that constitute his Drifting Falling coming-out exude no shortage of finesse and pastoral charm, with Galano uniting acoustic instruments (glockenspiel, guitar, bass, piano) and electronic sounds into melancholic and graceful wholes. Though textural enhancements are present, they're used judiciously so as to serve the melodic framework of the track in question. The focus, in short, is on melody first and foremost, and specifically quietly euphoric melodies at that. Averaging about five minutes in length, every one of the six instrumentals is song-length too.

“The Dawn and the Embrace” opens the recording in a plaintive and melancholic mode, with its electronics embellished with guitar textures. Here as well as in the other songs, Galano's When The Clouds songs exude a quietly rapturous quality in their choruses that would invite the shoegaze descriptor were they delivered with maximum volume and intensity. Having electric piano, melodic, and electric guitar as the lead voices in “Flooding River” ensures that a palpable warmth imbues Galano's material. “November Song” perhaps goes furthest in integrating textural sounds into the material—whirrs and clicks in this case—but the gesture is still done with restraint so that the sound design doesn't overshadow the lilting melody and rhythms that are the song's core. Filled as it is with crackling textures and pretty melodica, glockenspiel, and piano melodies, “The House of Sleep” is like a dream filled with wistful memories so comforting that one would wish never to awaken from it. Refreshingly free of irony, The Longed-For Season is music of unapologetic consonance and quiet beauty that wears its heart on its sleeve.

May 2010