VARIOUS ARTISTS - Tales From My Pocket

Various Artists - Tales From My Pocket

16 songs
59:57 minutes
***** ***
Pocket Heaven

A year ago, Panoplie released their first compilation CD Eskimo Friends. A year later they are back with a second album, for which they founded a new label, Pocket Heaven. Tales From My Pocket features less music than its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less good. The one hour long trip starts with The Theory Of Coincidence, a piano solo project by Emile Hengen which works as a sweet ambient intro to what it is to follow. Dortmund Project, from Italy, not Germany, continue with a stellar moment of electroacoustic pop music that lives from the charms of fluid synths opposed to acoustic guitars. Lo-Fi is still alive! The Metro vocalist is back with singer/songwriter influenced near-folk pop and surprises with growing maturity. Even better than some stuff of his regular band. Jeff Hemmer’s afurnishedsoul comes with a fan favourite, which has him sound like even sadder Sophia. Suits him well. US indie sadcore shoegazers Uzi and Ari resume with some more sadness, before fellow American Mikah Sykes proves that he is much better on CD than live. Sounds like lo-fi Sufjan. Former Myein guitarist has a new acoustic project Berlin Calvados with a female singer. They sound nice enough, but too close to Cranberries for my taste. Italian singer/songwriter atthebusstop could so easily have failed with his ballad, but his sensitive vocals underlined by fragile acoustic guitar and sad cello makes this one of the more catching moments on the CD. Nick Drake fan Roberto Angelini was already released on a major label in his home country, but his contribution feels a bit like a dénouement. Devics vocalist Sara Lov manages her turn without any problems and enchants with cute melancholic dream pop. John Parish is one of those icon figures in alternative music that everyone knows at least from his cooperations with PJ Harvey. He doesn’t disappoint either with his introspective alt pop ballad. Giovanni Ferrario’s six minute track starts out slow, but once the rhythm section kicks in, this is Giant Sand inspired music at its best. More Italian undistorted singer/songwriter balladry follows with Lotus, again nice from the moment on when the rhythm section kicks in. Musical Buzzino, last Italian band for now, astonishes with retro sounding psyche pop. Perfect! Local lo-fi chansonnier Raftside sounds cranky as ever, but that’s why we like him. The compilation ends with German pop duo Wolke covering Daft Punk, a nice idea on paper, but eventually I prefer the original.

Tales From My Pocket mostly offers music from Italy (six times) and Luxembourg (five times), making lately people joke that Panoplie head Robert Weis secretly calls himself Roberto Blanco. Four contribution from English speaking countries and the German track at the end make this more than just an Italian-Luxembourgish cooperation. With some link to its predecessor, where several of the bands featured (Metro, Devics) have this time their singers soloing, there is even a thread to the past.

The best thing about Tales From My Pocket is that it never feels like a compilation although the bands don’t sound too much alike. There are many highlights (Dortmund Project, Lo-Fi, atthebusstop, Giovanni Ferrario, Musical Buzzino), a lot of really good material and hardly any fallouts to make this quite an improvement to its predecessor Eskimo Friends. This new Pocket Heaven compilation gives you a comprehensive look at what Panoplie is about, and if you like melancholic indie pop music, there is certainly no way around Tales From My Pocket.

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