Corsicana is the solo project for Ben Pisano. Pisano is only seventeen-years-old but is already showing some serious talent with his music. His latest is a self-titled four-song EP Corsicana, which revolves primarily around his guitar and vocals but also flirts with electronic elements. Pisano is a little undefined at this point and a bit scattered but there are a bunch of notable artists who came to mind when I listened.
My first thought was The Postal Service for a number of reasons. Pisano has a high-pitched voice and sounds unequivocally similar to Ben Gibbard at times. The other thing is some of the electronic elements such as those you hear on the first track and highlight “Caustic.” Although comparisons to The Postal Service is inevitable on the first track that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable. Pisano also has some skill when it comes to coming up with original lyrics. He throws in a couple of hundred dollars words in there along with some poetic ambiguity. He sings, “I chide myself sometimes for bringing my day to a standstill, and write myself a letter of apology, but it never seems to do. The daily drills, best of luck, follow, if you will, go to bed, see it again in a different light.”
The second track “Glacial” contains a good amount of melancholy that is induced with atmospheric pads and light guitar playing. There is a bit of a Bon Iver vibe here from the music. Pisano shows some restraint on this song and only during the last minute does he add bass and percussion. It was done tastefully and doesn’t push the intensity too far, which was a good call.
“Kokytos” feels like a departure from the first two songs and sounds somewhere between Radiohead and Local Natives. There is a groove on this track and it’s a bit hypnotic and easy to zone out to. The song is almost seven-minutes long and the second half is dedicated to climatic post-rock-esque instrumentals. The last track “Empyrean” may have the most commercial appeal. It also tends to align with the “Kokytos” in terms of groove, vibe and feel.
Pisano has accomplished a lot for how young he is but still will need to do some work if he wants to compete with the artists he sounds similar to. With this EP Pisano covers a lot of ground in terms of style and does do so in a convincing way but also leaves a lot of questions as to what a full length would sound like. Pisano will have most likely have more luck by sticking to a particular genre and defining his own style rather than flirting with a myriad of them.
Pisano should be well on his way as long as he continues to dig into what is distinct and original about Corsicana.
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