Video: Davide Cedolin “Vanishing Sky”

Psychedelic folk may cover a lot of ground, but it’s the perfect description of this gently hypnotic, languid groove from Ligurian artist Davide Cedolin. ‘Vanishing Sky‘ is the first release from his forthcoming debut album ‘Embracing the Unknown‘ and it gives a pretty good representation of the approach and feel of the album.

Cedolin has been a fixture of Genoa’s independent underground music world for twenty years, working on numerous experimental music projects both solo and with a wide range of other collaborators. More recently, Cedolin has found himself drawn to a simpler life and that coincided with a simpler approach to making music. Having reconnected with the natural world, he found himself spending far more time enjoying the outdoor life, eschewing electronica and instead preferring to sit under the olive trees playing his acoustic guitar. So much so, that his gentle strummed or fingerpicked guitar has now become one of the defining features of his music.

Opening with Cedolin’s acoustic guitar, there’s still plenty of psychedelia going on, with swirling, delay-drenched guitars, reverb-soaked electric piano and a rumbling bass powering the track along. There’s something reminiscent of Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie in Cedolin’s soft, lazy drawl… and in this case that’s a good thing.

Utilising the well-worn trope of retro Americana-flavoured stock footage, the video neatly avoids retreading tired ground by the addition of Cedolin and his acoustic guitar roughly composited into various shots. Cedolin says there’s no thematic driver behind the selected footage, with the images ranging from retro clips of languid hedonism and sensuality through to disasters natural and unnatural, death, destruction and all manner of weirdness. Witty choices with regards footage selection and shot order keeps things interesting, and some animated lo-fi speech-bubbles and Cedolin regularly popping up in shot with a knowing smile makes sure the mood remains unsettlingly dreamy but not overly serious. The spaced out feel was heightened by recording Cedolin singing at double speed and then playing back his performance at half speed. As Cedolin himself observes, it’s amazing what can be pulled together with a cheap cellphone, some green screen and free editing software… kudos to editor Géc La Mosca, who helped pull this charming lofi promo together.

Cedolin seems to be up to some interesting things in Genoa, blurring the boundaries of folk, Americana and lofi electronica. Well worth a look.

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