Anthony Ferraro sounds like an interesting guy. He was studying to be a classical musician until arthritis put pay to those plans. His search for a new life path led him to designing a generative music algorithm which sold for $5,000. He’s mates with Chaz Bear. And he makes a mean music. Living In Symbol, his second LP as Astronauts, Inc., finds Ferraro bringing together Whitney-style retro-pop, some Serge Gainsbourg chansons and the woozy dreaminess of Lee Hazlewood. It makes for a charming listen. Comes with stickers!
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Well, it’s still Summer isn’t it -- amazingly enough -- as if you needed reminding, and here hammering the point home (albeit with a very smooth and soulful hammer) it’s a solo Anthony Ferraro as Astronauts, Etc. Very breezy and refreshing 'Living In Symbol' is too; as welcoming and rare as a glass of lemonade (in the shade) made from real lemons and sugar, in fact. But no sugar tax here; just relaxing and relaxed, carefree vocals -- sunny West Coast, USA atmospheres -- FM melodies, balmy guitars and a rhythm section that reminds me very much of BADBADNOTGOOD. It’s probably the bass playing that does that.
Anyway, what a lovely, mellifluously smooth voice Mr Ferraro has and it’s a grooving little winner especially with such beautifully balmy and swoonsome songs -- recalling a sort of mix between Lee Hazlewood, BBNG, and Toro Y Moi (Ferraro previously plied his trade as Toro’s keyboardist, so it all makes sense). Piece that together with an obvious love for classic late ’60s / mid ’70s Laurel Canyon singer-songwriters and everything falls into place. Yes, I mean everything does become clearer when this record is on. This beauty is a pure, slightly woozy, delight of a thing.
Also, comes highly recommended for those folk among you who enjoyed that Chaz Bundick Meets The Mattson 2 ‘Star Stuff’ record from 2017. It’s altogether lightly toasted and more than a little jaunty; a lot like you, in fact.
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