Rhythm & Views 

Piers Faccini

Piers Faccini, born in Britain to Italian parents but a current resident of Paris, incorporates a world of musical influences into his incredibly mellow but, at the same time, textured songs. Each song maintains a tension between an utter outpouring of emotion and silence: "Days Like These," for example, has moments of just Faccini's soulful voice and minimal guitar, and then the Indian instruments sarod and tambura add accents here and there, allowing the music to stretch beyond its basic pop melody structure. The amazing Inara George ahs along with Faccini, and as the song moves toward its close, Faccini's voice conjures spirits.

A slinky bass opens "Sharpening Bone," and as Faccini sings the chorus, the bass drops out, and an electric guitar whispers in the background. If "Talk to Her" is reminiscent of Ben Harper, there's good reason: Some of Faccini's backing musicians are also members of Harper's the Innocent Criminals, and you can even hear Harper's own voice on "Each Wave That Breaks."

It's Faccini's use of traditional instruments from a variety of musical cultures that gives this record its earthy texture; it's a regular education in world instruments. (I'd never heard of an erhu before, nor a kamancheh.) But Faccini manages to make the use of these instruments sound perfectly natural within each song. Nothing on Tearing Sky is forced or done for any reason other than to make an excellent piece of music. Hence, even in its quietness, Tearing Sky fills up houses.

More by Annie Holub


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