Artist: Porcelain Raft
Album: Strange Weekend
Label: Secretly Canadian
Recorded in a basement in Brooklyn, Strange Weekend is the new album by Italian, London based singer-song writer Mauro Remiddi. Following his Gone Blind EP released on Acéphale earlier this year, the ten track album has a hazy, summer inspired feel to it. Remiddi left his previous band, indie-popsters Sunny Day Sets Fire in order to go out into the music world on his own. Porcelain Raft is certainly less produced, with an almost demo feel to some of the songs which is intentional – he says of his old band “I started to make demos to show them, but then I suddenly realized that I liked the demos more than the final recordings… I like the idea of a work in progress.”
The whole album has a dream like quality to it, and this essence is further propelled by the track names like Drifting In and Out, Shapeless & Gone and Put Me to Sleep. Opener Drifting In and Out portrays this feeling well; the undulating synth, sprinkling percussion and dabs of whistling creates a spaced out effect. Track four, Put Me to Sleep is actually available to download for free from Porcelain Raft’s Facebook page.
The End of Silence features female vocals to accompany Remiddi’s, is backed by tambourine percussion, and even a section on the electronic guitar. If You Have a Wish is more a electronic soundscape, with fuzzy synth sounds, clicks and taps, Remiddi sings out; “if you have a wish, say it now” his voice sounding ever more androgynous. The shortest song on the album at only 2:24, it’s over before you know it and the rumbling percussion of Picture re-awakens those lost to the sound waves. Final track The Way In features vocals from Remiddi more heavily, he sings; “It’s the end of summer can you feel it now? There are things that can never be said” his voice strangely reminiscent of John Lennon’s.
Strange Weekend is a great combination of chilled out vibes and textured soundscapes brought together with Remiddi’s vocals, however there isn’t one particular high point for me. The songs mix together to from one long, well executed but not extraordinary stream of dream-pop.
Porcelain Raft is touring with M83 throughout Europe in the new year.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.