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Nanaue: 281F

Some 11 years in the making, the strangely titled 281F is the debut album from the equally unusually named Nanaue, a duo comprising Emiliano Deferrari and Matteo Nahum. That said, the pair are joined on most of the tracks by what feels like an ever evolving cast list of helpers, with Deferrari handling all of the lead vocals and some acoustic guitar, while Nahum brings his talents to bear on electric and acoustic guitars and all manner of keyboards.

Style wise 281F seems to blend latter era Beatles to something altogether more European pop - but with some real musical nouse in terms of composition and performance. Add in a decidedly Lawrence Gowan (Styx/solo) like vocal delivery from Deferrari and the sounds Nanaue create make for a pleasing, if gently, eclectic mix.

Split into two parts - I’m guessing there’s an overriding theme or story at play here, but can’t hand on heart confirm that’s the case - the mood is upbeat melancholy, if that’s a thing? With woodwind, strings and brass all gently accompanying the more expected pop and rock swirl, there’s a depth here that repeat listens certainly helps to unearth and a poise at the heart of the likes of “The Shortest Story” that you’ll either find endearing, or a little over bearing. Interestingly there also seems to be a lyrically confused ode to “Lancashire” included, with the song of that name celebrating black pudding, chilly winds and fading tans. Is it tongue in cheek from a pair of Italians of which one now lives in Spain? I’m guessing so, but in a way that reveals a fondness for the subject matter nonetheless.

In many ways that slight juxtaposition plays at the heart of a lot of the tracks on this album, “Devil’s Lighter” quaintly English, while still clearly not, whereas the album’s shimmering instrumental is called, well, “Instrumental”.

In truth, the small contradictions that sit at this album’s core both musically and lyrically make 281F interesting and a little stand offish. I’ve still very much enjoyed this album, but there’s a nagging suspicion that I can’t shake off that I’m not always quite understanding its full intention. Maybe that was the point?


Track Listing
Part 1
1. Summertime
2. Sumac Said
3. Down The Rabbit Hole
4. Che Boludo
5. The Shortest Story
6. Lancashire
Part 2
7. Daybreak
8. Devil’s Daughter
9. What Is Left
10. Instrumental
11. Confident Boy
12. The Blind, The Deaf
13. 281F

Added: July 2nd 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Rattsburg Records @ facebook
Hits: 136
Language: english

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