The Midnight Room
Label: Sub Pop
Catalog #: 70738
Two years after the release of Jennifer Gentle’s critically acclaimed Sub Pop debut Valende, the Italian psychedelic avant-pop explorers are back with The Midnight Room. And, while the band is five members strong when they play live, with the recent departure of drummer Alessio Gastaldello, the recorded Jennifer Gentle is now solely the project of founder and songwriter Marco Fasolo. Marco wrote, performed and produced the entire new album alone in his Ectoplasmic Studio, a rambling old house lost in the foggy plains of Northern Italy, infamous for its previous owner’s suicide by rifle.
And, perhaps fittingly, the new record pulses with a nocturnal, feverish, hallucinatory emotional atmosphere, making for a truly unique aural experience. Informed by a deep love for American ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll and European musicians like Nino Rota and Kurt Weill, The Midnight Room is by far the most personal Jennifer Gentle album to date. Focusing on the possibilities of the quintessential rock combo (two guitars, bass and drums) and enriched by swirling keyboard touches, Marco created an album that feels like music from some forgotten amusement park at midnight. Evoking bizarre, otherworldly images of gas-lit street corners, abandoned theatres, labyrinthine corridors, The Midnight Room marries the intensity of primitive rock ‘n’ roll with a renewed taste for a certain kind of typically Italian melody—albeit deconstructed, shattered and broken into tiny little bits. Think of Link Wray, Krysztof Komeda and Federico Fellini rolled into one short, dense, cryptic tour de force. And then think again.