The layered vocals that rise up as ‘Is it Painful’ builds are exquisite and are the highlight of this striking song from Italian singer-songwriter Phill Reynolds. Reynolds’ voice is deep, earthy, rootsy and full of character, bringing to mind the likes of Nick Cave or Tom Waits. Marion Moroder’s gorgeous backing adds further depth and texture and the result is absorbing.
In the video, Carolina Pizzato’s dance draws Reynolds out of himself and, as she wipes the darkness from his eyes, literally, we sense some kind of recovery. Reynolds says of the song and video: “I wanted to show, through the delicate then mighty lenses of dance, the inevitable contrasts of any relationship, the deep importance of trusting one each other, the demanding path of attraction and independence.”
This single is taken from forthcoming album, ‘A Sudden Nowhere’, which is due for release on 12th January. Reynolds explains what it was like approaching a new album in this strange year: “Traveling has always been my main inspiration, the core of my composing approach, so when we got motionless and confined in our places I haven’t been able to outline a single verse. My guitars got covered in dust and neglected for weeks. Frustrating, and painful indeed. I couldn’t perform neither I could strum a hell of a chord on my couch but hey, finally I could actually listen. I refused to set this pandemic as the backbone of my upcoming album, even if it is slightly hinted by the title itself but surely it added to some of the songs a darker, misty yet intimate shade.” Certainly, the chance to listen, reflect and find some peace has led to some of Reynolds’ most personal work to date. You can pre-order the album here. Check it out.