Reviews

Starframes – Close

It’s dreamy, reverb-soaked aura is compelling and transporting. It’s droning rhythm section, coupled with lofty, Harrison-esque slide guitar melodies throughout, conveys a message of melancholy and hollowness.

On very few fronts in this day and age, do you still find concept albums and projects, especially at the unsigned or small label level. The artists are not fully developed, the day-to-day goal is just to gain notoriety, not to marry into other art forms. Budgets are tight, show schedules are crazy, it’s a lot for bands early in their careers to take on projects of greater magnitudes. It is however, well-worth the extra toil. This is why when you see something transpiring in this arena, it’s good to get in on the ground floor with the artist and the project, for the sake of art – you know?

Naples-based band, Starframes have composed an album of 15 songs, with each track correlating with one of the chapters in the novel, Nicht Vergessen, which is penned by Raphael Bramont, singer and guitarist in the band. The novel is due out shortly after the album. Lyrics from the 15 songs are based on dialogue and emotional moments from the book.

The story is based in 60’s East Berlin and portrays a cold and dangerous era for its main characters Friedrich and Akelei. One of the tracks from the album is titled, Close and at first listen it’s dreamy, reverb-soaked aura is compelling and transporting. It’s droning rhythm section, coupled with lofty, Harrison-esque slide guitar melodies throughout, conveys a message of melancholy and hollowness. Vocally, Close is poignant, but also mysterious and ambiguous.

The accompanying music video further projects this. Cold, grey, lonely, cinematography is set against Art Brüt architecture – it’s a visual treat. You could easily enjoy this track ala carte, but there’s more to the menu, plenty of upcoming music, a novel release, touring, videos – movie?

Starframes

Nicht Vergessen was released November 2018 via Bulbart (IT) and Thinkbabymusic (GR). Follow these troubadours and see where the journey takes you and your next project.

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Chris Ambrosino
the authorChris Ambrosino
Reviewer & Playlist curator
Chris Ambrosino hails from the Catskill region of New York and has been a performer and songwriter since 1987. He also has worked as an art director and graphic artist for several organizations. Chris currently plays and writes for indie band, Blue Ribbon and is a contributing writer for the Alt. Daily blog and For The Love Of Bands website. He has resided in Hampton Roads, VA since 1994.

3 Comments

  • This song is a whole mood! Fantastic concept, with an impressive depth and scale from a band that’s doing everything on their own. Great writeup, it piques my interest to want to hear more.

  • As far as concept albums go, this is a pretty interesting concept to work with, and they’ve done some creative things within these self-imposed constraints. The album has a great tone, both sonically and in terms of the mood(s) that the music conveys. In its own way, it kind of reminds me of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” if only because the book and the novel were meant to complement one another in a way that allows you to appreciate each more, which is likely the case here as well. Good stuff.

  • I love the idea of a concept album, and that the songs are connected to the novel by the singer of the band. Really cool idea. And the music is also nice, dreamy and relaxing.

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