Spellbound by musical influences, nocturnal landscapes, and a close bond with percussioning producer extraordinaire Kit Montieth, Cyrano, aka James Vetesse, summoned his brand of enamoured sound to the stratosphere. Smokey and elegant, Whisky Pop, or music for late-night thinkers, as he likes to call it, permeates the air after eight years of dedication and identification of self. Pop it is, but pop for a new age of hybrid fabrication, depth and intellect. The multi-instrumentalist unlocks debut EP Consolations today, November 12th, 2021, via Fourth Wall Records.
Preceding the EP, single White Wine - dropped last spring- responded to the Italian heritage Scot's coming of age trip to America in 2017, with the endless possibilities of Los Angeles rubbing off on him. Using his starting point of late-night drives and what it means to be a consequential stranger without expectations, the sensual, echoing song gives plenty to occupy the ear and a faint jazzy leaning with brass; there is a fullness to the melody. It indicated the stylish electro-pop that would follow suit.
C, side by side with production guru Foals' brother, field recorder and Techno talent Monteith and Luke Smith (FKA Twigs, Keaton Henson), relinquished the sophisticated sound he desired after searching for his sonic truth; he landed squarely on his artistic mountain. Like a lunar dusting on the indigo night sky twinned with after-party pizazz, second delivery Tundra noted a theme emerge and a definite Cyrano shaped stamp he could call his own.
Suspense-filled pockets materialise right from the get-go. At any given second, the song may erupt into festival-ready, humid dance tent euphoria; spoiler alert: it does after the three-minute mark but reserves its combination of indie drums and electronic samples. Referencing rap genius and classically trained J Dilla as a guiding light, 00's Neo-Soul, Hip-Hop beats precede the rave with a harmonious transition.
The state of feeling lost and anxious is disclosed, but he can detach himself from the low to look upon the situation logically and out-of-body: "But I've never really lost my mind". The Edinburgh-based creator possesses a recognisably rich voice, to which we become gladly familiar.
Peaking through dewy leaves in the Far East, mist sailing in parallel planes enkindling tranquillity is our next destination on the ancient map. Collateral claimed validation that his travels to mysterious realms speak of maturity. Indielectronica with dusky tones - albeit mellower than the past tracks - upholds a dual dialogue with an internal voice and a partner. There is an expectation when reaching a stage in life that self-sufficiency is paramount. Pushing another away is a defence: "I make it harder for you to love me. You make it harder for me to care."
Cascading waterfalled Japanese Taiko drums frame his contemporary composing. Surrounded by soothing synths and pockets of intimacy, reading between the lines, lyrically and sonically, is signified by the descending notes slotted into the words, 'I make it harder, for you to love me.' Ever a fan of a big finish, Cyrano changes the emphasis to lo-fi guitar work, attaining distinction to the end.
Assembling the words we wish we said but didn't, Afterburns is a turbulent point in a relationship where the flame is gong out, but there is a slight speck of confusion: is it worth another shot? 'We know silence doesn't heel,' he mulls through an internal monologue, gliding over drawn-out notes, then bursts of short erratic melody akin to the train of thought at this sensitive time. But there is always a slow, considered beat underneath acting as the foremost thought, repeating over and over in his head. A ballad but free from drama, there is a musical realisation near the conclusion; it shall pass, as it always does.
Inevitable lines are drawn with Kit joining the dots between Cyrano, Foals and Everything Everything, and it is so lovely to hear these connections passed to a new generation. And it's track Plaster that looks to EE's Jon for its rhythmic workings of the words in Cyrano's most intimate writing to date. A piano curtain lift, quietened pulse, and siren synths take the song to a crashing chorus with the rare but satisfying leading bass. The lyrics state a simple request that the four unbosomed manuscripts on Consolations articulate can be complex: 'All I've wanted, all I've ever needed is somebody.'
Article by Beverley Knight