Scintilla Proves To Be A Wonderful Work Of Art And Dedication
Leah Hamer || September 7th
In the most trivial of generalisations, the world is run on polar opposites- the sun and the moon, happy and sad, major and minor. Scintilla, the fifth studio album for Nosound, takes this premise to heart.
After spending almost a decade and a half discovering their avant garde rock sound, Nosound’s most recent work is founded on the variety of feelings, genres, instruments and influences the band have come across on their journey so far- which makes it a stunning battle of uplifting and melancholic tracks.
It begins with Short Story and it’s airy, spaced out lyrics, stripped down, gentle strumming and twinkles of piano, before its charging build that revives yours spirits, almost like the climax of a movie trailer. Two and half minutes in, however, comes its unwelcomed and abrupt ending. It is followed by seven minute Last Lunch- a collection of droning lyrics and starry reverb in the verse which turns into this intimate and soulful chorus. It has this floaty and other-worldly violin and a stealing drum solo towards the end.
Little Man has this neat little rain-drop like synth, strikes of symbols, monotone vocals, slithers of Spanish guitar and a feathery violin, giving it a gentle and caressing feel. In Celebration of Life begins sounding like the background music of an alien spaceship. It has a texture of euphoric peace and tranquillity, especially with the introduction of the classical violin, which relaxes your muscles and slows your heartbeat. More life arrives three and a half minutes in with the key change, the heave of the orchestra and the final entrance of vocals. Repetitive lyrics are cut off by an elegant electric guitar, before it is pulled back away from you as the song withers into the oblivion.
Guest vocalist Andrea Chimenti sparks the dreamy fire of Sogno e Incendio, his dense, captivating tone creates a moving atmosphere, the Italian lyrics smoothly swirling around you like churning butter. Then comes Emily with its raw plucks of the strings and steady, honest minor vocals.
The Perfect Wife is the biggest eruption of emotions- a calm ranting story with surprising rage and fury in the chorus that comes from nowhere. It jumps from the sensitive quiet to the abominable pain and anguish as singer Giancarlo Erra questions, ‘Are you proud of your destructive appetite?’ Heavy drums and angry guitars accompany yells, before fading away suddenly to a single sinister piano. Juxtaposed emotions make it both the calm before and the destruction during the storm.
Love Is Forever continues the theme of heartbreak, it is utterly crushing with hate-filled lyrics like ‘This song is for all you lovers/And that fucking smile on your face’. It is a healing process with a sarcastic title. The album then begins its decent with Evil Smile’s hollow, misty, coarse vocals, before the final number, and title track, Scintilla (meaning Spark). It begins soft and unknowing with the luring cello of Marianne De Chastelaine and ends with the majestic brass section, finishing the album with vibrancy and decadence.
A see-saw of emotions, from hopeful optimism to concrete depression, Scintilla displays the diversity of Nosound’s musical ability, whilst paralleling the complexity of the human mind.