Rome-based singer and songwriter Luca Bash released in 2014 a collection of four EPs, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key Black, collectively known as CMYK. The Single Drops, his newest effort, is a compilation taking one selection from each release and topping it off with a new addition, “Your Tomorrow”. With only two acoustic guitars, Luca Bash and longtime collaborator Giova Pes create a rich and diversified soundscape with the latter adding ornamentation to an already beautiful composition. That the two have a longstanding and loving relationship with their instruments bleeds through every note they play.
While The Single Drops can be filed under the broad category of acoustic rock, there are quite a few other flavours liberally spread throughout, including Latin melodies, a taste of country, a hint of Americana, and even a little bit of funk and jazz. The vocals are for the most part deep and melodious, sometimes raw and emotional at times. Bash’s accent makes some lyrics hard to understand, but well worth the effort. And forget what you know about structure: a mixture of storytelling and reflections on dark, important topics such as love and religion make the tracks on this EP essays rather than mere songs.
The Single Drops starts with the original “Your Tomorrow”. The vocals are folkish while the sweet-sounding, almost romantic guitars deliver the emotional impact needed for the topic at hand: the balance between hope, drive, and empowerment and being realistic. The typical song structure elements we are used to, such as bridges and choruses, are not present in this gentle number, making it seem a lot shorter than its four and a half minute run.
The tempo increases in the Americana-imbibed “Forever Like Asleep”, the melody of which is quite catchy. The vocals now come off as smooth, cool, and confident, and are structured more traditionally (i.e. verse, bridge, chorus). While it’s quite clear that English is not Bash’s first language, he still manages to pull it off, but it does require some extra work to figure out his emphasis on the sacrifices needed to turning one’s dreams into reality.
Kicked off by a captivating guitar introduction, the ballad “Dear John” is a sort of an open letter to the Pope, questioning the legitimacy of the rigid and stifling structure the papacy has put in place when the love that draws people together is so much more potent in supporting all aspects of their lives. Many times, songs that take on the topic of organized religion come off as an attack; that “Dear John” instead is a thoughtful reflection on the matter without drawing any solid conclusion other than love being a vital component of the answer is quite refreshing.
Interestingly enough, “Little Tale” is, in a way, a spiritual song in which Bash encourages listeners to not easily give up on certain things just because they are challengjng but rather to embrace the difficulties which will make them grow stronger. This subject seems to be close to Bash’s heart, as he puts in an incredibly emotional performance from the first note right up until the end. The EP ends with the uptempo, folk-flavoured “Black Swans Walls” that is bolder than all the other numbers.
The Single Drops is made up of tracks that explore more deeply than usual such complex issues as love, loss, courage, and religion. The depth of the lyrics contains the ability to influence listeners’ perspective on some very important subjects and will no doubt stay with them for quite some time. More information about Luca Bash is available on his official website and on his Facebook page.
Pictures provided by Independent Music Promotions.
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