Italian duo, Hear And Now, have a new long-player hitting shops this week. All I can say is that the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns must have proved super productive for the pair, because it wasn’t so long ago that I was reviewing their last one. “Hot on the heels” would be the wrong stock phrase to use here, since the music on Milvus is, largely, pretty chilled. Maybe better to say “surfing in its wake”, or “blowing in its blue-skied summer breeze.”
In essence this latest LP, Milvus, is built around a sublime, synergy of synth and 6-string overdubs. Where the former raises warm, romantic, spirit-stirring, swells, and the latter switches between jubilant jazz, and morning-after blues, licks. Together – the sampled tides and shore are a giveaway – they are definitely dreaming of the beach.
The set seems to have been carefully sequenced, from sunset to sunrise. Journeying from beatless bliss to skanking, harmonica-led, reggae, to disco, house, and back again. Finally gently, greeting the dawn, perhaps a little refreshed, dazed and confused. The housier moments, like the blinding, Baiadriatica – proud with piano, busy with the click of castanets – benefit of course from Marcoradi and Ricky L`s significant dance-floor pedigree, their time spent spinning and swinging at legendary Perugia night club, Red Zone.
Milvus is one of those albums of such consistent high quality that it`s hyper hard to select a standout. If I’m pushed though my money`s on the opener, Bassa Marea. Where Marco Evengelista`s guest flugelhorn pays tribute to Miles Davis and Mark Isham, and the prayer-like vocal recalls Pedro Aznar on Pat Metheny`s Cafe del Mar classic, Mas Alla.
Hear And Now`s Milvus is available directly from Claremont 56.