If you are waiting for James Mercer to make the next Shins album or Martin Phillips to complete the new Chills album, cast your gaze away from the calendar, stop crossing off the days and have a listen to the debut album from Bologna, Italy’s A Classic Education. Call It Blazing is twelve songs (three of which previously appeared on last year’s hey There Stranger EP) of understated sublime pop that will seduce you from the first listen.
The album was recorded at the Rear House in Brooklyn by Woods‘ Jarvis Taveniere who has recorded the Vivian Girls, Real Estate and the Ganglians to name a few. He does a good job in keeping the sound clean and singer Jonathan Clancy’s voice in the forefront. Clancy, who also records as His Clancyness has a voice that resembles the afore mentioned Mercer and Phillips in the way he sings in a melancholy high pitch. The band is obviously well schooled, or should I say (ahem) classically educated in the fine artistry of the pop song employing elements of the Dunedin, baroque, and American indie schools of rock.
The record is anchored by a handful of upbeat songs (Baby, It’s Find, Gone to Sea and Can You Feel the Backwash) that are immediate, easy to like and strategically placed to catch your attention and draw you into the record. Backwash comes late, but seems to lift the record into the stratosphere with it’s rushing chorus. The slower numbers like Spin Me Round, Forever Boy, I Lost Time and Night Owl are worth your time too. They act like slow release medication keeping your interest after you’ve worn through the rush of the more immediate tracks. Call It Blazing does blaze but it also sustains itself after the initial blast, something that all of the great records do and is quite a feat for a band’s first album.
Order a copy of Call It Blazing on vinyl or CD from Lefse