The acoustic country and folk-pop songs that comprise Anthony Presti’s latest album Clarity in Hindsight is a far cry from the music he started out making. The Seattle native came of age in the ‘90s during the height of the grunge scene. As a teenager Presti moved to California, though he brought his grunge influences with him. He played in a hardcore band called Derge that covered Nirvana songs for a time until they finally began to write their own material.
The band was rather successful and opened for well-known rock bands of the day including Alien Ant Farm. But when the band finally broke up, Presti decided to it was time for him to start exploring something different. After returning to the states from a three-month backpacking trip through Europe, Presti took the experiences he’d had in Europe and paired them with an acoustic guitar; something which he had since come to realize a new love for.
One definitely feels as well as hears Presti’s sense of renewal on Clarity in Hindsight. The songs are in that upbeat vein of acoustic pop likened to Mumford and Sons and City and Colour. But of course these are bands that make music for the moment, much like a disposable coffee cup, they serve a purpose for a while and then are tossed out until the next one is needed. And I don’t think I would be wrong to say that all parties involved share an equal part of the blame.
The opening track “Time Will Tell” is a pop country dirge that rambles along for six minutes though for what reason it is unclear. “Who are You” perks up with a combo of rumbling piano and organ, and sees some of the records best harmonizing between Presti and Brothers of Siren singer, Leah Van Dyke. Later on the songs become hard to distinguish from one another, mainly “Sweet Dreams, Sweet Girl” and “Another Friend.” The album gets a boost from the closer “So Much to Figure Out” the most rocking song on the album.
The problem, it seems to me that has befallen Anthony Presti on Clarity in Hindsight, is the same exact thing that befalls so many bands and solo musicians making music these days. That problem is simply that the music they are making has in some form or another already been made, for better or worse, by someone else. I’m not speaking about an influence just that these days there is just so much music out there that acoustic driven pop-rock begins to sound recycled.
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