Some six years ago Valerian Swing emerged as one of the most interesting and exciting bands on the Italian rock scene, and claimed widespread acclaim for their mathy, instrumental style. But now, following a change in personnel and the unusual step of replacing their bassist with a baritone guitarist, they are back with a bang ready to reclaim their crown.
The trio of Stefano Villani (guitars, electronics and vocals), David Ferretti (drums) and new boy Francesco Giovanetti (baritone guitar and synths) – who describe themselves as “three Italian lunatics” – have created a new album that portrays their maturity as a band, moving beyond the label of ‘just being heavy.’
The culmination of this has been newly released single Four Horses, which highlights the musical excellence and diversity of the trio. It opens up with a frantic synthy riff over the top of a light guitar support then launches into a winding, fast-paced guitar solo. An interesting baritone riff follows, then the guitar solo returns in even bigger style before a drawn-out, looming section eventually gives way to a lull of calmness and tranquillity. A bizarre electronic riff follows and the track builds up with all manner of musical noise present, before one final rendition of the guitar riff. Oh, and there’s no vocals – and you can check it out for yourself below:
As Stefano explains: “It was the first piece composed after Aurora (2014 album), no voices, killer rhythmic twists, and the most rousing refrain that we’ve ever done. Hearing is believing.”
That track comes from upcoming album Nights, which we’re expecting to be something pretty special, especially as it was produced by Matt Bayles of Mastodon and Botch fame.
Speaking of Nights, Stefano said: “Unlike previous albums the aim was to focus more on the melodic construction of the songs and less on the extreme. The result is an album that explores more expansive post-rock, rhythmic and cinematic sounds.
At certain points, especially with the added vocal elements, some tracks verge into experimental pop territory, an area we’ve not been afraid to visit. The influence of new baritone guitarist Francesco is evident, his place in the band has allowed me to focus on experimentation with computers, electronics, processed vocals and devices different from the guitar.”
Nights is released on 12 May, and you can see the band for yourself later this month. They’ll be playing four shows in the UK in Bristol, Manchester, London and Brighton between 26-29 April with Alpha Male Tea Party. Full details on those dates is here.