Christian Bitto, a self-named musician from Philadelphia, PA, is a new artist to watch in the indie/rock scene.
While mainly acoustic-driven, he is accompanied in his live shows by bandmates Niall Hood on bass and Jesse Gimbel on drums to create an intimate trio that can range from quiet, soft, finger-picked melodies to emotional rock.
After giving Bitto’s EP, The September Call-Up, a listen, his voice instantly reminded me of Oliver Sim from London’s indie band The XX, while the instrumentals made me think of softer Brand New and Jimmy Eat World, as well as the clean reverb affect given by Chris Isaak’s Gretsch 6120.
The opening song, “Next to You”, has great vocals- pure and in its simplest form- guitar with slight distortion and simple chords, and a great bass and drums to back and compliment it. I love songs like these. It reminds me of a great CD I got as a kid called Sweet Lowland by Dodd Ferrelle, so in a way it evokes a bittersweet nostalgia for me. The next is called “Daylight”, and it’s just Bitto himself and a guitar. It’s a lovely, soft fingerpicked acoustic song… “the glimmer of light that shines in the dark, is that your beating heart, your beating heart? “ is saddening in a way. The final song in the EP, “Mickey’s Song”, is another fingerpicked song which seems to be about him traveling and away from a loved one. Beautiful song.
It was a perfect mix in my opinion- very clean, calming, and simple. Listening to this EP for the first time during a docile summer thunderstorm in a local coffee shop made the atmosphere that much more enjoyable and relaxed.
I definitely recommend to VM readers and music lovers to keep up with him and his band and see what these guys have to offer.