Late At Night
10 Track, LP (2009, Independent)
Related: Edward Guglielmino.
Late At Night is a nocturnal soundtrack, not just in name but in the moody streetlamp photo on the back case and the lyrics of almost every song (“Late at night I feel all right,” is a typical example). It’s gentle, largely acoustic music for solitary nights in darkened rooms; like Burial’s Untrue if you took out most of the electronics and replaced them with guitar and drums, then took out the haunting samples and stuck in Guglielmino. His voice – a blend of Bryan Ferry’s deep croon and Antony Hegarty’s caged-bird warble with a touch of Robert Smith thrown in – is well-suited to lonely music for lonely people.
‘Fail With Me’ is musical consolation, describing the inevitable failures of a relationship that hasn’t even started yet. “I don’t think we’ll get married/I don’t believe in bliss/So come on – fail with me,” he sings. It’s one of the more energetic tracks, with ironically chirpy whistling and even a few handclaps thrown in at the end. The title track is more representative of his central thesis, with metronomic guitar, bubbling spacey effects and lovelorn singing about the fuzzy-headed glamour of insomnia. Nicoletta Panebianco takes over the vocals on ‘Take Me Home Tonight’ and manages to capture the album’s vibe in the first line: “5am in the morning and I’m feeling fine.” Her singing is complemented by piano and the glum hiss of rain.
Late At Night is a perfect snapshot of a very specific feeling, all airy tones, building guitar drones and dreamy sing-song vocals. It’s an accomplishment that’s easy to appreciate on a cerebral level, but I outgrew insomnia and I’m too old to play night owl. Most of Late At Night just makes me feel sleepy, but I’ll be keeping ‘Fail With Me’ on the playlist for a while yet.
by Jody Macgregor