Christian Bitto, singer of the September Call-Up, is a lot like Leonardo da Vinci. How, you might ask? Quite simply, Bitto is a Renaissance Man of vocals, a jack-of-all-moods, you might say. From first track to last on his album with drummer Jesse Gimbel, Air And My Sleep, Bitto switches constantly and effortlessly from a soft, near whisper to a powerful shout, before retreating back into a passionate warble. Such a truly textural range is the focal point of this otherwise very calm, smooth indie record.
Its first track, “Negative Film”, is exemplary of the EP’s depth. As Bitto utters, “Gave you my word, it wasn’t worth a spit. Gave you a kiss, it tasted like shit,” the song has a very Ryan Adams, alt-country feel to it. Before you can even process that comparison, though, Bitto becomes a 2013 version of Michael Stipe, his voice loud and all-consuming through the chorus.
“Our First Fall” is a song everyone needs at some point in his or her life, for a lonely, heartbroken kind of night. Bitto’s cloud-soft voice paired with very angry, tearful lyrics sweeps you into a storm of emotions you can relate to. “Song No. 3” is probably our favorite on the EP, and is equally heart wrenching. Comparing Bitto’s vocals to that of Conor Oberst is inevitable, and only makes the track tug at your chest more.
Toward the end of the album, a sense of nostalgia begins to emerge, especially on “Burnt Orange”, a very pretty track about love come and gone. “Ghost” is a surprisingly upbeat tune instrumentally, raising the tempo of the album before a pleasant crash into Air’s final track, “9”. The September Call-Up couldn’t have chosen a more perfect track to conclude their album – it’s sensitive, dreamy, and thought provoking. And after listening to the record, you see that the duo’s intention, all along, was to get listeners thinking. Job well done.
Air And My Sleep is due out June 25 through Wissahickon Records.
Kate Foster is a hodgepodge of seemingly unrelated titles: writer. Blogger. Beauty and fashion junkie. Cat devotee. Art history buff. Harry Potter nerd. Cheesy 90's television fan. Sometimes-gamer. Seasonal sculptor. Mostly she’s a music enthusiast. While her heart and soul belong to 50's and 60's crooners like Etta James, Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley, one shouldn’t be surprised to find her listening to Lady Gaga or Jay-Z. Most days, though, she’s in an indie-punk mood somewhere in between - she counts the Pixies, the White Stripes, M83, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs as a few of her favorites. And while you’ll typically see her bobbing her head calmly at concerts, occasionally she pulls out all the stops for bands like the Black Lips. She treasures her bruises like a child. After graduating from the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Art History, Kate aspires to move to New York City. There, she hopes to continue to write. She also plans on pretending to understand the art at MoMA and stuffing her face with cronuts and one dollar pizza. Kate’s heroes range from Oscar de la Renta and Mindy Kaling to Ernest Hemingway and Rupert Giles. She practically inhales iced coffee on a daily basis. Her favorite color is yellow, and like Buddy the Elf, she considers candy a major food group. She has dreams almost every night involving the coolest architecture and interior design, and has no idea what it means. Seriously, what does that mean?!