ALDO BECCA "D’Ora Stella" C30
(Old Bicycle Records)

Yeah, sure, we all still miss Elliott Smith, but, hey…would you be willing to trade in his penchant for earworms for an uncanny mastery in ambient, noise-tinged lo-fi recording dynamics; would you accept never again hearing strummed chords with a guitar pick, but rather only nimble fingertips expertly plucking out meditative, lulling patterns on that very same acoustic steel string tone…oh, and, by the way, you wouldn’t have to consider killing yourself over depressing lyrics because you likely won’t understand them anyway, unless you know Italian.

Well, unless you’ve worked out the kinks in that pet cemetery of yours, Aldo Becca is your best bet for future dynamic rides along the heartbreaking work of staggering beauty that is melancholic singer-songwritery that still manages to be authentic in a world of pap and pulp, pumping out ditties by any and everyone who’s ever even considered learning three chords or less. Thanks, AB (ES?) for keeping it real, and thank you Old Bicycle Records (of Switzerland) for sending this across the pond to us.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan