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First off, name's P:ano. The music, like the moniker, is unnatural, an aberration: Diverse Fiery Furnaces hyperprog with the high-school theatricality of the Decemberists or Antony & the Johnsons and the pop-classicist impulses of Heikki, Hercules, Camera Obscura, or Fan Modine. Hazlewood and Sinatra! Rodgers and Hammerstein! Architecture and Helsinki! On the first few listens, the songs wash by, disembodied like an ocean. They pass over as a wave of ephemeral cleverness. Eventually strong, if eccentric, songwriting emerges, establishing the band as a more-remote cousin to recent Memphis Industries baroque-pop signing Field Music. (Why haven't you downloaded that yet, BTW?) To complicate matters, the songs sometimes unfold at the deliberate pace of Low. Given the capriciousness here and the occasional "rumpa-pum-pum", think Christmas EP, particularly on the album's standout, "The Snow", with a tin-pan alley verse and a jingling, reverb-laden chorus. Co-lead vocalist Loyva sings with the quiet, gorgeously real whisper of Yo La Tengo's drummer/singer Georgia Hubley, quaintly adapted for stage (the album title is, after all, a reference to a Lerner & Loewe musical). Above the swooping guitars of "Candy Is Nice", she steers the band into dreamy chamber-pop, Krgovich's backing vocals echoing like those of My Morning Jacket's Jim James. Yet Loyva has the humor to proclaim, "Take me to funky town!" on faster-paced potential single "Leave Me With the Boy". (Don't worry, the room's spinning for me, too.) On "Pure Evil", the words "Fleetwood Mac" and "Christine McVie" spring to mind, pleasantly. Though the album has a few tracks too many-- "The Rescuer" drags and "The Ghost Pirates" cloys-- it's hard to fault this band for their ambition. With a train-like rhythm, "Light o' Love" hearkens romantically to a turn-of-the-20th-century America that probably never really existed-- despite the Mind Games-era Lennon saxophone, "Somebody Get Me Annette" is strangely fascinating (bassoon!), and the meticulously cool (temperature-wise) "Dark Hills" hits like a half-remembered Alan Parsons production from '80s soft-rock radio, aside from the ethereal backing vocals and marching-band martiality. A few stronger choruses, and P:ano, despite their strange appellation and forbidding obtuseness, could go on to fashion the album of next year. Or they could end up another vaguely celebrated post-Elephant 6 omnivourous weirdness collective. Dudes, I just write shit.

P-ANO è presentato in Italia da PENTAGON BOOKING

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