Our Rehearsed Spontaneous Reactions

Songs For The Sleepwalkers

Independent release, 2012

http://www.songsforthesleepwalkers.com

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/23/2015

Songs For The Sleepwalkers is a one-man folk act created by Swedish musician Andrea Caccese. This is a little bit of what he has to say about his debut effort Our Rehearsed Spontaneous Reactions on his Bandcamp page: “This record is full of imperfections. Songs that feel like incomplete drafts bleeding into one another, not making much sense on their own, like a drunk man staggering over here and there.” This lack of praise for Caccese’s own work could be attributed to the good old Scandinavian modesty in him, but there is some truth to it.

Reactions does seem like an incomplete album. The songs are often not fully formed and end prematurely, with lyrics that are nothing more than fragments of thoughts. However, this might be a blessing in a way, for this has led to an album that is intriguing and unpredictable. Most of the songs do not follow a set course and often wander off into interesting musical diversions. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

For a folk album, Reactions is surely different. The music on this album is more Sigur Rós than poor man’s folk. Tracks like “Icarus Falling” and “Down The Line” have beautifully subtle layers of music underneath the acoustic guitars and the singing. “Awake” is straight up folktronica with its electronic sound. The instrumental “Asleep” has layers of guitars in dissonance with each other amid the backdrop of Caccese’s angelic nonsensical singing, resulting in an ambiance rather than a song.

Caccese might feel that this record is incomplete; however, his soundplay on this album has certainly enabled him to completely realize the type of ideas he intended to express: “This is a record I really needed to do to bring back some light to my days. I’ve been writing new music since then, and I think I got back a lot of things that I thought I’d forever lost, and I also gained something new in the process,” he further admits on his Bandcamp page.

The layered music and the hushedness of the songs give Reactions a kind of dark appeal. There isn’t any sanguineness in the singing either. There is obvious pain in Caccese’s voice. His singing is restrained, like a typical Scandinavian well-mannered folk singer, but he sounds like he could explode at any time. There are certainly a lot of Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley vibes emanating from Caccese’s vocals.

Reactions is an album in transit. More precisely, it is a bunch of ambitious concepts that sound more like a bigger and more complete work. If these concepts ever get materialized, it will truly be a special album, for Caccese is certainly heading in the right direction with his music.

Rating: B-

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