Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Matt Oliver, Mastered by Sam Patlove
We're pretty sure that the answer is: freakout. We're fairly sure about that. They always come in different sizes and different forms, but freakouts are recognizable in all of their variations. The ones that London-based songwriter Alessio Natalizia spurs on are the kinds that he tops with whipped cream and a cherry, so as not to make them frightening to anyone coming upon them unwittingly. He seems to like for us to see that bowled cup filled with ice cream, step to it, pluck the cherry off by the red stem, pull the fruit off of it with the might of our teeth, start gobbling the whipped cream off of the top and then be struck by the contents that are raging below the dressing. The interesting thing about the freakouts that Natalizia brings out in himself and in his songs, is that they might not appear to be freakouts to anyone else but himself. We couldn't possibly pretend to know him or what he's thinking, or going through, but he must put the emphasis on the emotions that are churning, the ones that are potentially going to disrupt everything in his life if he allows them to. He must love giving them a window seat, so they can have a better view than the one they had before, when they were all cooped up inside, trying to get more leg room and battling with the dark. The songs come out as the beginnings of the flame touching the far end of the wick, with the orange problem sizzling up the wick, getting to where it's going to do the most damage. A song such as "Dear Me," from the self-titled and latest album, gives us a prelude to what might ensue and then there's this lovely drawn out chanting, or repetitive singing that joins up with a drum beat that moves into the neighborhood, giving the song the feel of someone gathering steam, preparing to break it down. Something, or someone, seems to be in the crosshairs of this building force, this energy that's going to cause the fire hydrants to burst and the sirens to go completely crazy. Natalizia tends to always find a way to keep the full eruption at bay, to keep it all under control, but that doesn't mean that these are not the fine makings of something about to blow.