In The Middle of the Night
In the Middle of the Night is available via:
New York, U.S.A.
7th December, 2017
The E.P., I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left, is available via:
THIS time around…
I get to look at an artist based out of New York who has been turning heads with his unique blend of sounds. I will come to look at Gianni Paci soon but, when thinking about his music, there are a few areas that spring to mind. I wanted to look at recording sessions and how a fertile mind can produce a multi-genre work; the musicians who share the stage with big names at a young age; acts who have everything at their disposal and are on the rise; why those who start writing their own songs young have a natural edge; more on the New York music scene; what 2018 will hold in terms of sounds and talent; a bit on voices that get inside the mind and compel imagination. Paci is an artist who is not exactly new to the scene. He has been performing and writing since he was a child – I shall come to that later – and it seems, now, he has reached a stage where he is producing his best work. There is no need for the New York songwriter to bring too many bodies into his art. The songs on his E.P., I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left, was produced, recorded and performed by the young man himself. Working out of Pine Hollow Road Studios; what came through is an idiosyncratic and stunning set of songs that seem to reflect the surroundings. Oyster Bay. N.Y. is where the music was made: a collection of hamlets and villages that have a certain charm and peacefulness. We all imagine New York as this big monster that snarls with traffic and pollution; there is very little room to move the shoulders- it all sort of gets on top of you and becomes too much. That might be the reality of Manhattan at rush-hour; maybe certain parts of New York are populous with tourists. There are many other areas of N.Y. that are much more clement and relaxed.
Oyster Bay is a town on the easternmost of the three towns in Nassau County. The town has a few-hundred-thousand residents and comprises eighteen villages and eighteen hamlets. There is vegetation and scenery; there are museums and calm spots; there is the view of the water and certain tranquillity. Pine Hollow Road Studios is a charming and well-equip studio but one cannot discount the importance of the environment when it comes to the music that was produced by Gianni Paci. On his E.P., one gets a collection of sounds ranging from exposed and fragile (It’s Always a Perfect Journey) through to abrasive and harsh (In the Middle of the Night) – the uplifting If You Believe It’s Alright and moody Honest Thing add new dimensions and contours. The vertically-integrated vision Paci has is coming to fruition and producing his strongest work. He has released the E.P. through his official site and his new single, In the Middle of the Night, is something that caught my ear. If you feel it will sound like the Billy Joel song, then you might be disappointed – this number is a more Punk/Rock-laden song that has an echo, creep and intrigue. I know the artist had all that talent and variety in his locker but you cannot overlook how a well-located and idyllic studio can provoke some wonderful music. Paci will release videos through the season and continue to cement his reputation as one of the finest new artists coming from New York. I am always looking for musicians who produce work that stretches and provokes; it gets busy and makes its way to some strange places. The more varied and eclectic a record is, the better it can be. I know there are artists who can remain constrained and exceptional but they are few and far between. Gianni Paci is someone who realises a more wide-ranging dynamic is the best way to recruit new listeners. I am excited to see where Paci’s music takes him next and whether his pioneering attitude continues to produce material of this quality!
There are few who can claim they have shared the stage with names as big as Steven Adler and Mike Starr. Those men have performed with Guns N’ Roses and Alice in Chains. Paci has been in the studio with Gail Ann Dorsey (David Bowie, Gwen Stefani) and toured with the Butthole Surfers. That is a rather rich and diverse collection of names. Paci actually appeared on Butthole Surfers’ live album, Live at the Forum London and has got under the radar of some huge names. This would be impressive were Paci in his fifties: the fact he is such a young man makes his achievements exceptional. I am curious how that early exposure can lead to better music and a greater knowledge of the industry. There are some who say it is a lot of pressure and expectation to put on a young person. If you have the chance to take to the stage with giants of music then it provides a window into the realities of mainstream music and the kind of reception afforded the elite. This gives one the determination and passion to strive and aim that high. There are some who would see that as a calling, albeit it one that steals all of their time and means they have anxiety building – keen to get to that level quickly; unable to slow and relax. Gianni Paci is not someone who has hurried into music and is taking his time to craft sounds of the highest quality. It certainly has not hurt his imagination and talent given the people he has performed with. I am impressed when any musician shares time with big artists and has that kind of exposure. Many will claim it can be damaging an stressful but Gianni Paci has learnt from these experiences and instil that time into his own music. One cannot overlook simple nods to bands he has already supported; some of the huge names that he has been in the same venue with. Paci is an original but his levels of confidence have agreed since his earliest work.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ryan Jay
Early E.P.s like Walking Through a Movie Scene were fulsome and vibrant but his latest work, I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left, is the finest yet. Since his debut release; the New York artist has assimilated all his gig experiences and reception into his work. I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left brims with new ventures and possibilities; it incorporates fresh sounds and shows how confident Paci is. Not only has Paci performed with some big names but he has gigged at festivals like Austin City Limits and Zappanale (Germany). He has played at GBGB’s and wrote his first piece of material aged eight. I shall look at writing at a young age but those big festivals and intercontinental dates have made a big impact. The more an artist gets to travel and see new people; the better it is for their music. You can bring new sounds into the fold and have the fresh fuel. Paci has performed a lot around New York but those early times with big names, coupled with the big dates he has played at, have provided a huge kick and given the young man a lot of desire. I shall move on from this subject but I can only imagine the honours bestowed on Gianni Paci are because of his keen talent and natural intuition. There are artists who started writing their own material later in life but, for Paci, that started to happen when he was eight. While most of us are at school learning about things we are not going to use in everyday life: Paci was crafting material and setting his sights on the future. It was never a case of stumbling into music and writing songs for the hell of it. For him; music flowed naturally and came out of him. Maybe it started as poetry but, surrounded by a musical household, it was inevitable those poems would turn into music. In his early-career; Paci released two full-length albums under his pseudonym, The Pine Hollows.
Those early albums meant, soon enough, he was on the cover of magazines and being likened to the likes of Buddy Holly. People were raving and there was the belief he could get to the mainstream very soon. You can trace everything back to that early exposure to music. I am not sure the artists Paci was raised on but I can imagine there was a combination of 1950s – 1970s and more modern artists. The fact he has been compared with Buddy Holly suggests the legend was a part of his early life. I have been around long enough to know how important early experiences with music are to development and inspiration. Who knows what caused the school-aged New Yorker to pick up a pen and start writing his own music. I guess it would have been curiosity and a need to put something out to the world that was not being taught to him. Maybe a certain need to explore his own mind and document a world that was confusing and new. This hunger and ability has grown over the years and now, still growing and exploring music, it seems like there is no stopping the multi-talented artist. Gianni Paci seems to have everything going for him. Not only does he has boyish good looks at a respectable host of reviews under his belt; he is one of the most respectable and hard-working musicians around; someone who continues to grow with every passing year – the signs are all very positive. One can spend hours unpicking the psychological relationship between nature and nurture: whether that early flourish of creativity was a result of parenting and teaching or it came from his own mind. I know the time and effort he spent creating music as a youngster has got him where he is now. Other factors and stimuli have gone into the pot but it is that ripe and early revelation that means, not that many years down the track, the music coming from Gianni Paci is not only exceptional and solid but springing off in all sort of directions.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ryan Jay
How do all these sounds and ideas coalesce on I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left, then? I am not here to review the E.P. but I have heard the quartet of tracks on it – and can recommend everyone goes out and buys the work (from the official website). The music has no real natural tie and each number has a very different skin. There are different sounds – compared to E.P.s like Smoked the Wrong Stuff – and a greater sense of exploration and intensity. One hears the material on I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left and realises that extra touring and performing has impacted the music hugely. Paci is at his most desirous and agile. I will come to look at the current single from the E.P. but, before then, a quick peek at the eclectic ambition and variation one finds on his E.P. You only need to look at the cover-art to the E.P.s – shot by Ryan Jay – and realise Gianni Paci has a visual mind and is not someone who takes the easy war around. That cinematic and bold approach to visuals goes into the music, too. I am excited to see what future E.P.s hold but, right now, I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left is a masterful accomplishment from a songwriter keen to evolve and build. I know Paci has a passion for music but I am curious as to the artists he holds dear. You can hear a bit of Ramones in his single; there are bits of Buddy Holly and Pop acts; some fantastic Rock overtures and Folk strands. It is a busy and colourful collection of songs and it is this broadness that gets into the mind. If Paci were to create a write an E.P. that had the same sort of sounds throughout then one would still be impressed. The fact he takes so many different sounds and makes each song sound different means it will appeal to a broader cannon. Everyone will find something to love and be motivated to revisit I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left time and time again.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ryan Jay
I will come to the actual review soon but I am back in New York and exploring a state that continues to produce world-class music. I know Paci recorded his latest E.P. in a quiet an idyllic part of New York but he thrives off the energy and vibrancy of the people; the busy nature of the streets and the multicultural nature of New York. I have been thinking about next year and what sounds will be favoured. It seems like a lot of poll-makers here are tipping Pop acts for great things. In past years, there has been a nod to Urban artists and genres like Hip-Hop. This year, there are not a lot of bands being mooted but there is the belief some young Pop examples will make some big waves. Things seem to be centred on London and there is not a huge scope beyond there. That is the way the media has always operated and it seems they will continue to take this approach. I am interested going beyond the U.K. and what other parts of the world will amaze and inspire. New York has always been at the forefront of the world music scene and it seems 2018 will be no exception. Gianni Paci figures in that assumption and I know he will continue to make music. I have never been to New York but I am familiar with the music coming out of there. Each of the five boroughs has its own vibe and there are so many different sounds coming from the state. I feel Gianni Paci will be among the hottest-tipped acts of 2018 and put the city onto the map. Not that New York needs that lift but there are many in the U.K. (and other areas) that are unaware of the magic and diversity you can find in N.Y.
I will move on but want to highlight the voice of Paci. I have listened to a lot of his music and am drawn to the timbre and mobility you find. Paci has been compared to Buddy Holly but there are other shades and strands you can find. It is a majestic and graceful voice that, at the flick of an eyelash, can go in another direction and startle the listener. It is an instrument that conveys so much life and knowledge; a big and tremulous sound that can become intimate and strange without warning. This vocal dexterity means the music has the chance to explore and range. You do not have to write simple and limited music when you are Gianni Paci. I hope he continues to push boundaries and takes his voice in all sorts of directions. It is one of his greatest strengths and has gained awed and amazed reception from journalists. I have neglected New York a bit – I started down the path but have wandered into a nearby shop – but it is a part of the world we should all be more aware of. There are few who can deny the cultural significance of the area but many of us struggle to name new musicians from there. That might be a limitation of the media but I hope New York gets into the British consciousness next year. For one thing; the state is a lot more diverse than, say, London and there are artists coming from New York who have the potential to dominate mainstream tastes in years to come. Gianni Paci is one of them and, with all his talents and traits together, is a unique artist that warrants a lot more time.
In the Middle of the Night gets underway with a blast and right under the skin. The percussion is primal and rolls with Neolithic intensity. You do not have time to take your seat before the hero comes in and gets onto the microphone. The percussion roll moves the body and creates that incredible rush. The voice is low-down but has a coolness to it that is matched by the simple, yet intoxicating, video. Despite the fact the production is raw and things are lo-tech; the words are decipherable and you hear the hero look at a love/companion who is looking over the other side – tired of his company and affection. Maybe it is bar-room flirtation or the end of a relationship. You find the hero pensive and a little annoyed. The heroine has eyes elsewhere and it seems that lack of dedication and loyalty might be the result of past events. It is hard to tell in the early stages but the instrumentation and performance is amazing. There is the sound of Punk and The Strokes; the scuzzy and underfed growl that is rare to find these days. The music has a masculinity and sense of danger but there is always melody and discipline at heart. The hero asks what is he to do and where he will go. It seems the girl is alluring and captivating but there are others vying for her attention. The middle of the night has come and that yearning and pining is at its hottest. He is in a world of confusion and unsure whether he should make a move or play it cool. The voice has the sort of timbre and cadence of Buddy Holly but there is unique D.N.A. and flavours that mix with that. Combined with the sturdy and punchy percussion; the feral and exhilarating guitar – the song continues to move through the gears and is an instant success. A lot of songs take a while to bed-in and will not reveal their pleasures upon the first spin.
What you get with In the Middle of the Night is a song that hits straight away and gets right into the heart. There is simplicity to it – the words and sentiments being expressed – but the complexities working underneath start to come to the surface. It is clear there is a desire and confusion being expressed but the composition seems to paint its own pictures. Our hero gets tired of the begging stance and having to try that hard to win her approval. His heart is not available cheaply and he is not going to change who he is in order to win her. I love the chorus and the fact it puts me in mind of The Beatles – one could imagine it fitting onto their debut album, Please Please Me. The guitars strike and rumble whilst the percussion slams and contorts. The hero is aggrieved he is in this state and not able to get satisfaction. Because of that; the song has that Punk swagger reminds you of all the greats. Paci updates the Punk template but keeps the ethos and quality at its very finest. You are reminded of the best around but the music being created is very much his own. Maybe there is a bit of ego at work – he has too much time to lose; take it up with his P.R. team, you know – and there is a reputation on the line. Mixing confidence alongside doubt gives the song layers and difference; each listener will take something new from the song. You are drawn by the energy and addictive nature of the song; the incredible lead vocal and the simple charm of the song – that, when you listen more, reveals a lot and fresh elements come to the surface. It seems the hero will go through the night without the girl but, when you see the video, maybe that is not the worst thing. He will not beg and is unwilling to give his dignity over. In the Middle of the Night is a song that is very much from Gianni Paci but moves on from his previous work. It is a stunning song that jumps off the page and gets the body moving. It would be taken to heart by stations over here and shows he is always looking to evolve and move on. The remainder of his latest E.P. keep the quality-level that high and shows there is endless inspiration in the bones of Gianni Paci. I feel next year will be a big one for him as he takes his new material on the road. I know the great gigs Paci has performed so far and the names he has shared the stage with. All of that experience, and his natural talent, means a song like In the Middle of the Night is far superior and stronger than most of threw music already out there. Long may his success, ambition and drive continue. We need to encourage talent like Gianni Paci and make sure his music gets as far as possible. I would love to see him come to the U.K. and hear In the Middle of the Night performed on a stage near me!
I have spoken a lot about New York, young writers and how varied sounds can impact the mind. Gianni Paci and his peers are providing sensational music and ensuring New York keeps fresh in the mind. I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left is a fantastic E.P. that houses four songs that all have their different skin. In the Middle of the Night is a fantastic number that stands out from the pack but is not that dominating – the rest of the material is incredibly strong and has its own quality. I have been around a bit but have not heard anything like Gianni Paci. What I love about his music is how different it is from anything out there. Look at early Paci E.P.s and you can hear consistency but there are new elements in I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left. I know he will already be looking ahead and seeing what he can achieve in 2018. Maybe there are plans for another E.P. but he will be looking at gigs around New York. I hope Paci comes to the U.K. and takes his new material around the world. It would be great to see Paci come to the U.K. and bring his music to the people here. He would be afforded a great reception and get plenty of gigs. There are venues that seem perfect for him so I hope, when the dust has settled on 2017, he looks around and takes the music across the world. Things are getting bigger and better for the young American: he has the potential to be one of the biggest acts in the world. Right now, with a new E.P. out, there is every chance Paci will be crafted by the mainstream and get the chance to inspire the new generation. I shall end things now but urge people to spend a bit of money on I Tried to Right My Wrongs, But I Made a Left. It is a fantastic E.P. whose qualities and sides are embodied in the fantastic track, In the Middle of the Night. There are many artists who incorporate different sounds and genes into their music, but there are few…
WHO do it better!
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