- 30 Apr 19
Exquisite psych-pop from Italian duo.
The Rome-based lo-fi pop outfit –comprised of real-life couple Federica Caiozzo and Giampaolo Speziale – embrace the romance, and the struggles, of self-imposed exile on their debut LP Hopefully, Again. The record was composed almost entirely on the Sicilian island of Vulcano, whilst recording took place in the remote Wales countryside at Giant Wafer Studios. With chilled-out instrumentation that marries shimmery synth-pop with jazzy sensibilities, the album evokes a dreamy island-setting, albeit one overcast with stormy drama. Caiozzo and Speziale, meanwhile, croon candid reflections on insecurity, frustration and longing.
Songs such as the title-track and ‘Delusional Boy’ show Malihini to be thoughtful pop craftsmen, who deliver memorable hooks whilst remaining understated and atmospheric. The back half of the album is home to many of the more contemplative, slow-burning tracks. Notably, the stark guitar-picking and Speziale’s blunt speak-singing on ‘The Afterdays’ stand out in contrast to the smoother sounds elsewhere. ‘If U Call’, meanwhile, is a delightfully bouncy synth-pop track reminiscent of Little Dragon. The album ends with the beautiful ‘Song #1’ – the first song Caiozzo and Speziale ever wrote together. It makes for a strong conclusion to this promising debut.