Joe Banfi’s EP seeks answers

8 Feb

Exactly 45 seconds in to Joe Banfi’s “Nomads,” I decided it needed to be shared.

“Nomads” is the title track of Joe Banfi’s newest EP. Released less than a month ago, the song catches you instantly with a deep and dark bass before backing off to let in the lead vocals, high-pitched and soft in comparison. It’s something of a shock as the song grabs you and lets go, only to climb right back into that former intensity. The rise and fall isn’t jarring, though – it’s a smooth ride right to the end. Of particular enjoyment is the emotion in each clearly-articulated word. The lyrics are irrelevant – you can find the story just in the singer’s tone. (Download a free MP3 here.) Note the rolling drumbeat that keep the song pushing forward.

The second track, “Family,” carries the melancholy confusion of the first, but more subtly. While “Nomads” opened with a crash of instruments, this track is more preoccupied with its lyrics. It built slowly, with strings approaching and retreating multiple times, eventually ending with what felt like something of an intentional down, for the artist as much as the listener.

“Olive Green” is the first song that climbs out of the sadness characterizing the first two tracks. Starting with a lonely sound, the background acoustic guitar slowly grows into the richness created by a layering of emotions.

This is just an EP, one characterized by a question that Banfi is unable before the album ends. As Brotherkid has pointed out, one gets tired of listening to hit after hit without the strength of a full album – but this is an EP that promises the album will come. It’s just not quite there yet, and in the meantime, “Nomads” is well worth mulling over.

Sadly, Joe Banfi is currently touring the U.K. and unlikely to make a stop in Chicago anytime soon.

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