Italian artist Iuliano follows in the footsteps of many in the music industry. After years spent working in back-end roles as a producer and arranger (including an extensive stay in Malaysia), he eventually answered a yearning to be front and centre with his own material instead of coordinating and refining the work of others.
Late bloomers like this have the distinct advantage of seasoned experience in the industry, an understanding of its system, contacts, and best of all, they know how to translate any sound in their head onto tape with ease. On his latest single, ‘Comfortable Lies’, the latter is profoundly true.
Iuliano’s folktronica tune shapeshifts between velvety double-tracked vocal harmonies, chill electronic beats, acoustic riffs, cavernous ambience, and dreamy guitar improvs. The mixing and production are top notch; every instrument sounds crisp and clear.
The first half makes creative use of familiar and traditional songwriting elements – acapella melodies and simple guitar lines which shift gear into a relaxed ambient beat and two-chord toggle in the vein of Tycho. The subtle transition in the atmosphere between the two is especially appealing, from intimate and delicate to a loose and airy sensation.
Iuliano’s vocal harmonies are addictive and brilliantly written. Each diverges and reconciles at various points throughout, and the interplay between the two is sublime.
Progressing forward, the aforementioned dreamy guitars come to dominate the scene over the ambient chord toggle for the latter half. Iuliano then adds a little spice by taking a stylistic detour into the haunting, eerie territory that closes the track.
While everything individually sounds captivating and creative in this section, there’s an overall lack of direction. It lacks the meticulous engineering and intertwined feeling of the first two minutes of the song. The ending comes across as contriving peculiarity rather than inferring the perplexing-yet-mind blowing denouement of the experimental wanderings it aspires to.
Still, there are no overbearing flaws here, just a lack of cohesion at points. ‘Comfortable Lies’ is more than worth a spin.