Camelias Garden are a band from Italy. Ha ha I thought. These are going to fit into the Italian prog genre. No!!! How wrong was I. This is a very interesting EP ( I have vinyl albums from the 1970s that are shorter than this EP ) that takes in a whole realm of different sounds. There is folk, prog, acoustic rock and the title track lead midway by pounding guitars. All the vocals are sung in English. Everything starts off nice and simple on the first track Rise with minimal instrumentation of just acoustic guitar and piano and some really nice vocals. Making Things Come Together starts with piano and leads into a popish song that reminds me of groups like Sixpence None The Richer. Kite starts off with an acoustic guitar giving no hint at what is to come later in the song. The song has some nice quiet moments and another nice melody but at 5.45 the heavy guitars kick in and Anathema immediately spring to mind. This is by far the best song on this EP and is worth seeking out for this track alone. Red Light is another acoustic guitar driven track but there are some lovely keyboards mid song. The World Inside You has acoustic guitars being played over a kick drum beat with some nice backing keyboards and varying time signatures. The finale track, Useless is another excellent melody and finishes with probably the most proggiest part of the EP.
Camelias Garden are the brainchild of Valerio Smordoni who plays acoustic guitars, keyboards and contributes all the vocals. Simone Contini plays drums and Alberto Carli plays bass. They are joined by two guest musicians, Manolo D'Antonio on electric and 12 string guitars and Gian Marco La Serra who plays piano and keyboards.
This is music pleasing to the ears. It is a grower. I have listened to it a few times now and you hear different things each time. If you like your music soft with just a hint of heavyness you will enjoy this. Camelias Garden were a different line up in 2013 when they released their first album You Have A Chance (see review). It will be interesting to see if the band can bring this sort of standard to their next full length album. I don't see why not.
**** Dave Smith
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