7inch Sunday is a segment devoted entirely to 7” vinyl and the all-encompassing experience surrounding it. Although most publications cover major releases, the vinyl single is often overlooked and given nothing more than a half-hearted nod of acknowledgement. This weekly feature is a hub for 7” reviews, exploring the B-sides and rarities of artists that may often go unnoticed.
Each Sunday I will review 7” vinyl from artists who venture this extra mile to hold their singles high above the sea of digital releases. I hope to embody the spirit of vinyl while sharing some fantastic music with you, the reader. Let’s get started.
In a recent interview with Serial Optimist, Nedelle Torrisi, better known as the pop outfit Paradise, discusses a musical turning point in her life: Nina Simone’s debut Little Girl Blue. Citing the jazz artist’s straightforward, down-to-earth approach to music, Torrisi – although nowhere close to jazz – shares a similar approach. Her November debut 7”, I Love Thousands Every Summer, is a sincerely-crafted effort that presents itself as a humbled endeavor, inviting listeners to enjoy without growing overbearing.
The cover of the release details what I imagine a birthday party with Torrisi would entail: table decorations graced with a light shade of pink, similarly-decorated cake and, most importantly, gin and tonics. It looks as if she merely chose a snapshot from a personal photo album to embody her first release. Regardless of the photo’s true origin, the simplicity is merited by the music and a welcomed solution for artists who spend tireless amounts of energy searching for visual accompaniments.
“I Love Thousands Every Summer,” the A-side of the single, covers every highlight of 80s pop. The intro bleeds with a full-bodied synth and transitions into driving bass, lightly-plucked lead guitar and and a rhythm driven by clean piano and drums. Eventually, the synth lead and backing band’s retro intention marry as a cohesive unit and fall in line behind the vocals. Unscathed by reverb and other oft-abused effects, Torrisi’s voice pierces through the instrumentation with a hidden frailty that demands attention. Lines such as, “people will need you ‘til they don’t / they’ll always find someone to better their score,” are brutally honest and unafraid of consequences, but come from a voice that has certainly discovered such truths firsthand.
The B-side of the single, “Psychic Returns,” begins at a fairly standard pace. Bass drum hits occupy the rhythm while Torrisi is cushioned by a mini-choir of backing vocalists. It is an intimate song of lost love to the tune of a widely varying melody; however, all this abruptly stops roughly a minute into the piece. After a few seconds of chilling silence, we are floored by a sweeping ensemble of voices that swell with each chord change, uncompromisingly taking the reigns of the track through its final notes. Whether or not intended, Nina Torrisi’s sincerity is the bonding glue of these two tracks and manages to create an organic infectiousness that is challenging to look past.
Check back next week for a look at Kriget’s Holy Mountain.
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