Album: Ida Clara
Artist: Mike Silvestri
Non-Airable Tracks: n/a
Release Date: June 4th, 2018
Mike Silvestri, Chicago’s mysterious songwriter, released his second EP in just under a year at the age of 26. Ida Clara is named for his grandma and features five folk rock songs with immaculate production and a wide breath of instruments. His voices lands in an undecided area between a lighter, sexier voice and dark and powerful voice (like early Red House Painters-era Mark Kozelek but without the nuance) that seems to be the driving force behind these songs. The backing music is nothing noteworthy. Every song has one sound it decides on at the start and the only notable thing that is done to change up the dynamic of these songs is the increase in volume during the chorus. Other than that, each track is a one-trick-pony musically.
The biggest issue is that there is nothing attractive about his music and nothing that sets him apart from contemporary folk-pop-rock artists. I believe therein lies my biggest issue with this album – it appears as though Silvestri has already heard the music he wants to make. There are no risks or chances or any new ideas. The most freedom granted in the whole EP comes three minutes in to the first track “Hey Babe” when the guitar solo comes in like a psychedelic storm (or, more accurately, a drizzle). Other than that, it is an album of expertly produced, safe music.
Sounds Like: Hozier, John Mayer
Recommended tracks for radio play: All of them
Reviewer: Bryan Burnett
Review Date: January 29th, 2019