Marcello Ramirez is an artist from New Jersey who goes by the name Citizen Serenade. He released a four-song demo entitled Tape One. The music felt atmospheric to me but mostly may have had to do with the production. There is no denying the EP is lo-fi but it sounded like the songs were coming from a different room. His vocals especially seemed very distant.
Up first is “Alibi” which revolves around a standard rock setup of drums, bass, guitar and vocals. The drums were very upfront in the mix and largely took up my attention. Lyrically, you can interpret the songs in a number of ways. It seemed to be about a breakup but the meaning is up for interpretation. Ramirez sings, “Tell me what you want from me. You've never been so hard to please. Please don't believe the things you see, cause change will come internally. All I really want is to be free.”
“Park Shade” felt very much like an extension of the first song with a similar aesthetic. The song was pretty catchy overall and I appreciated the ambiguous lyrics. There is a section right before the two-minute-mark which was a formidable build up.
“Ice Bed” isn't nearly as ambiguous when it comes to a breakup and is about a lost love. Ramirez sings, “Mostly, I wonder if I’m gonna see her again when I melt away from this ice bed. Mostly, I wonder if I’m gonna see her again if I may.” He closes with “Great Golden Bird” which was a highlight. The melody was notable and the song had a warm feel to it. I was also very intrigued by the lyrics.
Ramirez has some talent but I have to admit I would have liked to have heard a full band take on these songs and see what could be done with them. The other thing that was hard to get past at times was the recording quality. I thought his vocals should have been front and center. He has a palatable voice that should be the main element. Hopefully we will get to hear some of his songs done in a pro studio at some point. I’m hopeful to hear more soon. Make sure to keep an eye on this artist.
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