Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Ken's Best of 2021 - #1: Calicoco - Underneath

I first heard Calicoco's 2018 album in March of 2019. I made the comment that if I had heard Float when it was released it would have definitely made my top 10 of 2018. This year I heard Underneath on time and it's my #1 album of 2021. Underneath combines two of my favorite styles of music. Giana Calioli's vocals still embody that 1950's style crooner sound, but on this new album they are put over giant indie rock epics. The album starts off with "I Hate Living With Me," an absolute monster of a song that just swirls and swirls and swirls around itself with fuzzy and hypnotic guitars while Calioli's vocals somehow command your attention above all of the chaos. This is what sets an album like Underneath apart from so many others. Music this noisy or loud isn't usually this beautiful, and with such compelling vocals. It's almost like early 90's Sonic Youth mixed with early Smashing Pumpkins and a little bit of when Tori Amos started playing with a full band. There are also some songs of just quiet, simple beauty like "Cuore Mio" and "I Was the Devil" just to give you a sonic break. But Underneath is one of the best indie rock albums of the century.

Songs of note: "I Hate Living With Me," "Strangers," "Heal Me," and "I Was the Devil"

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