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If you’re familiar with Twin Beasts you may already know Giuliano Ferla. If not, it’s your loss. Here the Melbourne artist strikes out on his own with Guilt Pop – his first solo offering under Ferla – a diverse record that will have you staring out over city lights late at night. Characterised by some serious groove and romanticism the four tracks also touch on some raw emotions to provide a rewarding introspective experience.
A groovy yet emotional release, Guilt Pop serves a unique offering in the genre and with Ferla we find a musician who really knows what he’s doing.
Speaking of the Ferla project, Giuliano said it started as an outlet for tracks that weren’t quite right for Twin Beasts before growing into something more.
“I can be autocratic and no one minds because it’s only me in the room. That said, playing with the TB guys is awesome, and we’re great friends and we make great music, but all the negotiation can slow things down. After 6 months I’ve finished this EP and got enough material for an album. I guess that’s why it started, because I was anxious that I was running out of time and I wanted to make more and do more.”
He’s certainly made an encouraging start, opener Breakups Are Hard For Everyone is a beauty. Musically it vibes as a really romantic pop song but lyrically it drills quite forcefully to the listener’s core, with no shortage of pain, venom and sadness. The words are delivered in a sharp and pointed manner, contrasting nicely with the tender melodic nature of the song. Ferla puts the powerful track into perspective:
“I had an argument with my girlfriend and then I turned on the news. The song puts a relationship that is falling apart against a world that is doing the same thing.”
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It’s definitely a highlight of mine but that’s not to say the EP falls away. Quite the opposite, actually, it maintains it’s interesting and moody beat throughout, at times euphoric, at times melancholic, at others boogie-enticing. I’m Nobody’s Baby Now is an example of the latter. It encourages you to just let go of those inhibitions and move it (do the twist) like you’re alone on your balcony or in your bedroom. The effect of this track is made obvious when Ferla speaks of his own experiences listening to music.
“There was this one time at Meredith Music Festival when Datarock had just finished playing, and the DJ put on Time Of My Life from Dirty Dancing and everyone got so excited and started singing along and dancing with each other and I had this revelation that this is what music is all about. There was another time at Meredith too when Neil Finn played solo. The whole crowd was singing along and everyone around me was either making out with someone or crying alone. It was really great.”
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On In The Night Ferla lets his voice soar on a slow-burning pop song that continues to incorporate a menacing edge into the lyrics to serve up a track that the man himself croons is ‘like a dream.’ The great thing about the record that comes through by this point is that it really sounds like Ferla revelled in doing whatever he wanted, without consultation. There are little sound effects, echoes, solos and tonal shifts that make this song so dense and interesting. He confirms this, saying it was recorded in his lounge room.
“This EP was all about me doing it by myself. I wanted to try out the whole self-sufficiency thing.”
Guilty Pop ends all too quickly with You’re There, a short and sweet love song that feels like it captures what has been in Ferla’s heart all along. Now he’s in ours because this is an outstanding first taste of his solo work, leaving us with bated breath for further releases and live shows. Ferla says these will come, one day.
“I’ll get a band together eventually but right now home recording is too fun. I’ll let you know.”
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