Out for release on October 14 through Lofieye Records, ‘Positioning The Sun’ is from London-based Italian artist, Quarry. The first single to drop from the long player is ‘This Is The Story’, and the track perfectly sets the stage for the rest of the album.
Starting with ethereal vocals suspended over acoustic instrumentals, ‘This Is The Story’ quickly moves into the realms of the anthemic, with electronic instrumentals swelling from about a third of the way in, increasing in power and volume…then just as suddenly dropping off back to the acoustic sounds.
‘This Is The Story’ is not only the first release from ‘Positioning The Sun’, but it was also the first song written for the album. Telling the story of a video chat between two friends, one of whom is depressed and becoming even more so, while the other is trying to lead them out of it, and prevent him from going beyond all help. The lyrics over the acoustic instrumental show the depressed friend becoming more and more resigned to their fate, while the more frantic electronica, and shouted vocals are of the one trying to pull them out of their funk. Were they successful? It’s not entirely clear, but it feels like the answer is no. The first person is telling their friend, “I’ll be fading / I’ll be heading to / The endless speed of light” while the second tells them that’s a “no-go zone”. Eventually however, the track ends with “This is the story of the lives / That won’t be the same / This is the story of the songs / That won’t be the same” – life continues; but with the loss of a loved one, how can they be the same?
Recorded in Milan between 2020 and 2022, ‘Positioning The Sun’ is very definitely a pandemic album. The effects of the 2 years of worldwide isolation and hopelessness are evident from the very first song, and this is illustrated beautifully in the video for ‘This Is The Story’, directed by Vincenzo Campisi. Shot in black and white, Quarry is seated playing guitar in a dark room. We zoom in on him as torn photos, spliced together from different images, highlight the public image we put on to disguise our inner turmoil. Words on cards, a la Dylan’s ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, are held and dropped, in an illustration of the hopelessness felt by the depressed friend. Quarry’s passion when singing, ‘no-go zone’ is mirrored by photographs of him grimacing, holding his mouth open into a smile with his fingers. The effect is heart wrenching.
Speaking of the album, Quarry said,
“I wanted to make an eclectic album. I started writing a sort of soundtrack to an imaginary movie. But then I realized that I was locked into my tiny home studio with this new pandemic disease bursting into planet earth, and I was writing songs about isolation, distance, separation. It was the soundtrack of that particular time.”
“Pandemic permeated the album with a sense of loneliness and concern and when it was almost finished, the outbreak of war in Ukraine made the songs more relevant, and new ones flowed quickly.”
“The positive thing is that I used a lot of words like “breathe”, “dreams”, “light”, “free”, which means that it’s not a sad album. There are hope and joy in it. I attempted to convey the abrupt and continuous transitions from black and white to color, and vice versa, using various ambiances, atmospheres and instrumentation, always feeling that the songs could be easily played on an acoustic guitar.”
‘This Is The Story’ is out now and can be streamed and downloaded here. Watch the video below: