Leonard Mostacci is currently located in Calgary, Albert. He’s been creating densely layered music with innovative and intriguing influences poured into every inch of his work. He had the time to finally produce and release his first album after a few years of self-critically disposing of endless recordings; needless to say, we probably lost out on some other great gems, but such is the curse of perfectionism. This first record nonetheless is ear-candy and a clear indicator of Mostacci’s potential for the future.
This seven-track EP entitled One opens with the soothing “Breathing Space.” If there was ever a title which aptly described a piece of music, it would be this one. This living entity fluctuates and breathes of its own will; the piano notes twinkle and dance to and fro as flourishes of a tentative trumpet enter the mix here and there. Percussion rattles and shakes somewhere far in the distance of this wide-open track. As an opener, this is a wonderful way to introduce the listener to what is sure to be an artful, introspective piece.
“The Wall Theory” is driven by a clean electric guitar arpeggio which dances above a meaty, throbbing bass rhythm and a slowly pulsing drum beat laden with jazzy cymbal crashes and a lazy, yet precise structure. It’s an instrumental piece, but it is far more grounded than the trippy opener which felt more as if it was taking the listener on a walk through a serene and surreal forest.
“Fishbowl” is driven by a melancholic and peaceful guitar chord progression. Mostacci’s vocals finally make an entrance on this piece, and they are most welcome among the ethereal, atmosphere of this art album. Tentative, soft and emotive vocals burst into the soundscape, with a subject who gives up and tells some unknown person to “Have it your way / Have it your way.” The emotion of these lyrics and the vocal performance gels perfectly with the equally sombre and reflective chord progression. The trumpet solo towards the climax was a nice addition adding a musical flourish to a song already packed full of human, lyrical flourishes.
“Rain Drops” is driven by a punchy drum beat packed full of catchy, head-bopping fillers and jazzy cymbal crashes. The trumpet returns with a restrained and soft, yet simultaneously bombastic rhythm. Though the human voice is lacking once again, every other instrument attempts something so rhythmically complex that the absence of vocals almost goes entirely unnoticed. Mostacci only uses his voice as an instrument on tracks which he feels really need that.
This EP is packed full of instrumental flavor in the form of addictive bass rhythms, trumpet solos and drumming, yet it also fluctuates into pop-based elements of songwriting at times. Somehow, these two genres never clash, as Mostacci manages to blend these two influences together perfectly into one combined sound that has become entirely his own. He’s influenced, and yet he doesn’t innovate or create unique art for the sake of it. The end result is actually listenable. This is well worth a listen, and I look forward to seeing what he comes up with next.
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