Franc Cinelli released Night Songs in September. Cinelli was born in Rome, grew up in London, has lived in New York, learned to play violin and guitar at an early age and has been surrounded by the range of musical influences that this history suggests – from the American Muddy Waters to the Italian Lucio Dalla.
Cinelli describes the unity of this album, “there’s a special beauty found only in the stillness of night, in the silent lonely darkness, dreams are born and reflections make way for answers. Night time isn’t the end of anything; it’s the beginning, it’s the seed of a brand new start”. As you’d expect, then – and even though Cinelli has his regular band with him on the album – there is generally a quietude and thoughtfulness to Night Songs.
The opening track is ‘Adventure/Love’ – essentially about opening the door in life to see what you’ll find: adventure? love? who you are now? Its delightful opening finger picking drew me into the album with a sense of “That’s rather nice…” My favourite track is probably ‘Stay Strange’ which follows – again lovely picking, this time to Cinelli’s voice singing “Stay strange, burn slow/May your ideas take you places”, the band bouncing in from the first chorus to raise the tempo.
The title track and ‘Rave On’ in particular have the sense of the “stillness of night” and reflect Cinelli’s view that all the songs on this album have, “come from a place of introspection. They were songs I needed to write, plain and simple”. The middle order of ‘Fly’, ‘Breathe’ (even with a strongly rhythmic guitar and upbeat choir-like harmonies) and ‘Horses’ (I particularly like the latter) also fit into this category – by which I mean they are songs I’d play when I’m feeling thoughtful rather than songs I’d blast loudly when I’m about to go out for the evening.
Cinelli says of the album that it “joins together a healthy dose of spiritual cleansing and demon conquering”. I suspect that the final two tracks, ‘Walk With Me Jimi’ and ‘Night Life’ probably belong to the latter category – certainly musically they are a defiant ending to the album and I imagine the lyrics arose from dealing defiantly with situations in life.
Cinelli is on tour at the end of October/early November in Salford, Sheffield, Glasgow and Hove.
Artist’s website: https://www.franccinelli.com