Porcelain Raft: Strange Weekend (Secretly Canadian) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #39 - Best of 2011Porcelain Raft

Strange Weekend

Secretly Canadian

Jan 19, 2012 Issue #39 - Best of 2011 Bookmark and Share

In Fellini’s 81/2, the movie’s protagonist, tired of being stuck in traffic, leaves his body and floats over the cars and out toward the sea. Italian musician Mauro Remiddi (who writes and performs as Porcelain Raft) might sympathize. Underneath the shimmering haze of drum loops, tape hiss, and gently strummed guitars, debut full-length Strange Weekend is ultimately a pop albuma flight of lo-fi fancy anchored by some very real (and very catchy) pop hooks.

Lead single “Put Me to Sleep” plays like a 1980s lullaby, Remiddi’s calm rasp set against a hypnotic sea of drum machines. The track highlights one of Remiddi’s greatest tricksthe ability to soothe but never bore, to get sentimental without veering into sap. It may be bedroom pop in the actual sense of the term (Remiddi logged enough hours in a proper studio with previous outfit, Sunny Day Sets Fire, to successfully pull off his own production this time around), but Strange Weekend was written and recorded with the express purpose of being taken out of the boudoir and onto the stage. As it turns out, it’s a far more listener-friendly experience than trying to invite the audience in. Do you really want to listen to songs whose redeeming qualities are choked out by lazy home recording techniquesdistortion and static piling up like unfolded laundry? (Uhh…no.)

Concerned you can’t identify with the guy who wrote tunes while perched on his twin-sized bed? On the flipside, “Shapeless & Gone” features some respectable guitar shredding and the appearance of a creditable falsettoa reminder that keeps the project from meandering into wimp territory. “Unless You Speak From Your Heart”perhaps the album’s most in-your-face trackinches a step further into straight-up rock, featuring front and center vocals and an undeniable swagger. Fellini’s hero may have had to return to earth, but Porcelain Raft has just started to take flight. (www.porcelainraft.com)

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