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WE REVIEW THE NEW EP BY LOUIS EMORY AND THE RECKLESS FEW – LOVE ITALY

It’s not uncommon for musicians to be influenced by their surroundings, for better or worse. Neil Young feared for Alabama, John Denver pined for West Virginia and Sufjan Stevens wrote an entire album about Illinois. Louis Emory and The Reckless Few have similar aims in dedicating their EP – ‘Love Italy’ – to its titular nation.

But the Mediterranean nation is not the band’s only source of sentimentality. Frontman Louis Emory’s love of classic rock, as well as the addition of Shelly Yakus as audio engineer, who provided services for the debut album by The Band, provide a nostalgic tinge to proceedings.

Opener ‘Roma’ breezes by like autumnal trees disappearing from the rear-view mirror – the narrator ‘on [their] way back to Roma’ – accompanied by a slide guitar that would be at home on a Simon and Garfunkel record.

‘La Serenissima’ – the most serene – is similarly buoyant. Happy-go-lucky backing vocals are cutely delivered over a subtly detailed combining of percussion and strings, coalescing jauntily.

But the admirably ambitious but unfortunately flawed ‘Firenze’ is the EP’s first misfire. At just over seven minutes long it features a lengthy outro with extravagantly group-sung vocals which lack the reserve of the EP’s opening tracks. The rigidly performed percussion is periodically irksome and the track lacks momentum as a result.

For a runtime that fails even to reach 30 minutes, the EP is sonically endowed. ‘Florence In The Fall’ includes acoustic guitars and pianos lines while returning to the reserved aesthetic of ‘Roma’ – but the nexus between this vast array of textures is muddy. Perhaps instrumental paucity would suit the group better?

‘Oh Tuscany’ marks the EP’s return to form. While the classic rock influence persists, the Britpop movement, itself influenced by the same artists influencing Louis Emory and the Reckless Few, may be another source of inspiration. ‘Oh Tuscany\You’re in my heart’ sings Emory, as a gentle mandolin runs contribute to this vernal recording.

The aptly titled ‘La Primavera’ progresses this sound further, perhaps succeeding more than any of the EP’s songs in creating something simple sounding but deceptively complete – Emory’s vocals filter through a mixture of sung chords, synths and all manner of shakers and cymbals. Holistically, the record functions neatly for a lazy Sunday afternoon listen. It’s serene but involved and despite an occasional lack of musical togetherness, the band are largely successful in creating a piece of sundried-nostalgia pop.