Clear musical promise abounds in this second album of friendship and nostalgia.
Flying under the radar until now, Ceretana is Marty Moran and Chris Mignanelli, a music teacher and a poet who met while studying overseas in London. ‘Failing East‘ is the sequel to their album ‘Failing West‘ recorded in Missoula, Montana, in 2003. Recorded in New Fairfield, Connecticut, either side of lockdown, the album is the American duos fun experiment in friendship and nostalgia.
Not straying too far from their first album musically, the duo’s well-recorded guitar and harmonica stylings are enhanced by the addition of piano and percussion. The album, refreshingly, is for fans of mid-90s alt-country bands like Better Than Ezra and Live!, and early 2000s solo artists like Bright Eyes and The Mountain Goats.
The highlight of the album is the pensive, moody ‘Nightbus’, that illuminates Moran’s musical talents and character vocals. The album is replete with wry but simple poetic lyrics which, for example, can be heard in the cheekily named ‘Dopeless hopefiend’. ‘Shadow at the Edge’ is a ballsy, raw, vocal-led song in waltz time that allows Moran’s character voice to take centre stage. The album ends with anthemic jukebox number ‘I Try‘ where the British influences on the pair finally take over.
The album is not a bad offering from two hobbyists and it will be interesting to see what songwriting the pair who clearly have musical talent will achieve going forward.