Rome-based singer songwriter Alfredo Serafini, performing as MesAlfie, creates moving and melancholic acoustic pop. He has recently released his first English language album, ‘Hey, Super’. The lead single, ‘Must See New York’ is a post 9/11 tourist-eye homage to the Big Apple, and premiered on PureVolume.
Alfredo Serafini has been in the Italian music industry for a considerable time, signing in the 90s with his band, Aleph, to Ra.Ro Records, a division of Polygram. The band released the hit album, ‘Guerra’, setting them on a massive press and tour trip around Italy. The band broke up before their second album was able to come to fruition, but Alfredo himself was quickly signed to a three-album deal by a foreign division of Sony Music. This however didn’t work out either and his contract was dissolved in 2007, without any proper musical releases.
Alfredo took stock, and returned to his family home, on Italy’s outskirts, and rekindled his relationship with nature. From there grew the MesAlfie project, which saw him for the first time singing in English.
Alfredo says of the project:
“I mourn the loss of times in which slow documentaries were broadcast on TV, or when listening to an old person talk was a respectable thing.”
He realised that being modern didn’t also mean he had to adapt to the newest trends, and technology, and so he pared down his style to his own version of melancholic acoustic pop, the majority of which music was written and recorded alone, by the warmth his fireplace, at his family’s property.
‘Hey, Super’ has more than a hint of jazz and folk to it, and with the album Alfredo hopes to steer away from the strictures of the Italian recording industry, which he’s never been able to come to terms with. He says,
“I’m a free spirit who still believes in the possibilities that music can swell hearts with hope.
“I wanted to step outside my comfort zone into a language I’m not a part of, not as a presumptive gesture, but as a musical prisoner seeking asylum from ears that are more open.”
‘Must See New York’, the lead single from ‘Hey, Super’, is gentle and moving, taking in the sights of New York City since the devastation of the World Trade Center. The acoustic guitar conveys perfectly the sadness and melancholy of the tourist contemplating New York as it is now. The repeated refrain of “New York love me too” is stirring and beautiful. The video for the track, released on 13 April, is an animation which at first doesn’t appear to bear any relation to the song: it’s a bug’s eye (or alien’s?) view of a post apocalyptic New York City. On second look however we realise how fitting it is – all of us should view our surroundings with the eyes of a tourist…or bug…or alien, in order to appreciate the beauty around us – even if we are surrounded by seeming chaos.