Les Longs Adieux, comprised of Federica Garenna on vocals and Frank Marrelli on guitars, hail from Rome and the band was born in 2020, during the pandemic. At this point, the duo has released five singles, a mini album (under the name of “Il Lungo Addio”), and a full album entitled “Piccolo Dizionario Di Parole Fraintese” in 2023, and they have joined several compilations. Their music was defined by Procession Magazine as a strange mix of new wave and electro with echoes of 80s dance floor fillers and a revisited aesthetic of post-punk fashion, and the duo think this description could be appropriate to give a suggestion about their music.

I have to say that I am in doubt over whether I can match that description of the music, but hey ho, I will give it a go! This review is a bit of a departure for me because I usually review the country side of things here, with some dips into the pop side now and then. But we do cover some electro, we did a piece on Priest in 2023 and Aimee Osbourne was featured as well. So here we go, everybody, onto the review.

Les Longs Adieux say of the album that “Vertigo” can be considered a synth/dream pop opera that revolves around the theme of the collapse of landmarks using the metaphor of the Twin Towers in New York. Each track draws inspiration from the tragic events of September 11th, 2001, to represent moods of anxiety, guilt, empathy and fear. The main ingredients to expect in these songs are: arpeggiators, 80’s and 90’s suggestions, dreamy guitars and cinematic, rarefied atmospheres.

The review of “Vertigo”:

“Sky Lobby” opens the album with a drum beat and swirling synth. It has a melancholic, almost jungle-like beat. It is a good opening rhythm with the vocals tucked under, “The last thing I heard was people scream and shout.” It made me think of an early career Toyah Wilcox, it has this punk vocal on a modern synth rhythm. I liked it.

“Flight” comes in with a strong electro feel. It took me to those 80’s bands with the beat, yet it has what I can only describe as a spacey feel about it. Perhaps more poppy than the opener, it links nicely to:

“Antenna,” which has a decidedly poppier feel. This one has some dance credentials, and I found myself moving to the rhythm. It was a good track with a club feel. Turn the volume up on this one; it’s a good speaker shaker! It was the single from the album, and the video is below.

“Falling Man” makes me think of those awful images of people jumping off the Twin Towers. It has a slower beat than the last couple of tracks, and it has a darker vocal too. I like the layers of music in the production of the track; it adds depth to the concept of the album as a whole. It is very short, running at under two minutes, so it is more of a connective song on the album.

“Gander” vocally rises and falls along with the swirling music. I found I liked the drum sound on this one too.

“Windows on the World” begins with this sound like a place taking off before some steady synth and drums. I liked the music with this one, and the vocals return to that eighties punk feel that I think suits well. I guess this is a darkwave track, but I’m not an expert in that field!

“The Two Sides of the Sky” sees the “I can’t breath and I can’t escape” mantra hit a nail, it becomes a desperate chant. It has the breathing and the sense of being trapped well folded into the music.

“Molten Metal” is this kind of dark track! I do wonder if Frank has a bit of Sisters of Mercy influence in his playing; I think there is a bit of goth and post-punk in there. This would be one of those tracks where I would note those elements. I think it might be the longest track on the album; it runs in at just under five minutes.

“Man of the Clouds” closes with a commercial number that I’d think should attract some radio play; it has an upbeat step to finish the album and is a solid closer.

So what did I think? I liked it! I don’t review a lot of music under this umbrella, but there was a lot there to attract. These two clearly have the musical class to deliver a punky electro pop sound that should easily find an audience in 2024. Good luck to them!

Standout tracks: “Sky Lobby” and “Antenna.”

The album is out now and can be streamed here.

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By Lorraine Foley


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