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Piers Faccini - Between Dogs And Wolves (Review)

Piers Faccini, Between Dogs and Wolves

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

THE fifth album from London-born singer/songwriter Pier Faccini is described as an intimate suite of songs on the themes of love and desire.

According to Faccini himself, the album depicts the unknowable and indefinable spaces between these themes – spirit and animal, between the wild and the tamed. “In France, where I live, there is an expression to describe twilight. It is called entre chien et loup, between dog and wolf,” he explains. “I wanted to use this metaphor for the album title, to transcribe the moment between day and night to the personal landscape of relationships, and to the stories we live, falling in and out of love.”

The ensuing collection is delivered in a style that could well appeal to fans of fellow folk musicians such as Nick Drake and Josh Spence. It’s often very delicate, sometimes achingly beautiful, yet not always immediately accessible.

Tracks have a tendency to beguile more than blow you away, which is perhaps symptomatic of Faccini’s whisper of a voice. There’s a distinct tone and pace, which is very deliberate.

Hence, album opener Black Rose broods and beguiles but could be said to be a distant record. It lacks a warmth of sound.

Yet this criticism is turned on its head by Broken Mirror by the track that immediately follows. Here, Faccini’s almost classical voice weaves its way around an intricate tale of love lost and won, complete with subtle string arrangements, female backing vocals and harmonies and a warm acoustic sound. It’s almost as if Nick Drake has collaborated with Rufus Wainwright.

The remainder of the album is similarly divisive. Some tracks underwhelm. Others wash over you with tremendous warmth and deep, piercing emotion.

Feather Light has a hypnotic quality, buoyed by Faccini’s low-key vocals and reflective lyrics, Wide Shut Eyes intoxicates with its warm acoustics, reassuring lyrics (“it helps me to help myself, it keeps me from getting lost”) and tender piano chords, Pieces of Ourselves again combines piano, acoustics and whispered vocals to endearing, thought-provoking, romantic effect and Il Cammino charms with its Italian lyrics and gentle delivery.

If other moments don’t quite register as strongly, or are harder to access, then Faccini has still done enough to underline his status as a unique and intriguing talent.

Download picks: Broken Mirror, Feather Light, Il Cammino, Pieces of Ourselves, Wide Shut Eyes

Track listing:

  1. Black Rose
  2. Broken Mirror
  3. Missing Words
  4. Feather Light
  5. Wide Shut Eyes
  6. Reste La Maree
  7. Pieces of Ourselves
  8. Girl In The Corner
  9. Il Cammino
  10. Like Water Like Stone