Bad Cello, “Safe Side”

Sjimon Gompers

Bad Cello's Zeno Pittarelli. (photo by Erick Florez)

Bad Cello's Zeno Pittarelli returns with one of the first listens to his forthcoming Finna EP with the premiere of “Safe Side”. Having recently given us the remaster of “It's Not That I've Changed“, the previous baroque-folk instrumentation gets aided, assisted and enhanced by new developed revelations of the electronic variety. The safety between different sides of the tracks, north side, south side, east and west gets all jumbled up by Zeno somewhere between, “the hills and the parts of the earth and the spirit that starts”, extolling the wasted-at-home joys of hiding away.

The bass synth keeps up the timing, not wasting a beat or measure as wayward keyboards shine sidewalk and street lamps toward the allure of secure places. The perception of living in different degrees of danger breaks down the false safeties of city planning and zoning where “dangerous faces” can lurk anywhere. But beyond the panic attacks and possible sneak attack threats; the synth breakdown boosts up the confidence and makes all fear disappear the proverbial reminder that, 'the world is yours'. “Don't you know child, the world is made for you to burn”. The song reveals the reality of the situation where stationary home body living is the answer to keep away from the outside's endless and ensuing potential chaos. Because at home, “your happiness matters now”, where the so-called nice part of town is only a volatile place of voluntary suppression. “I live on the safe side of town, where people keep their fists to their mouths”. Whether it be dwellings in those dangerous places or the facade of friendly faces, retreating to the security of home finds the greatest reward of comfort and peace of mind. “I will hide for the world has been made more clear to me”.

Zeno Pittarelli discussed the latest in his acoustic to synthesized developments and about keeping it groovy on the upcoming Finna EP.

“Safe Side” features your more electric side, do you feel like you're leaning toward experiments in more of the digital arenas these days?

Since recording this EP I've been working with electronics way more. I usually write songs on guitar or piano, and then figure out how I want to arrange them on the record and in the live setting. Lately I've just been making beats on my laptop. I think the songs will come later.

How had your own self-styled past indie folk facets informed the new directions showcased on the latest 7″ for Double Double Whammy?

All of the 7″ songs were written on guitar. For a while I was gigging around solo acoustic. It was fun, but I got a little tired of being the sad folk guy. Last winter I figured out how to play songs I had written for guitar on keyboard and started working on electronic arrangements. On Takes I wrote a lot of parts for wind and string instruments – this time I stuck with synthesizers.

“Safe Side” is a rhythmic synth-bounce between concepts and characteristics of both the safe and not so safe sides of town. What's the story behind the making of the song, any local Utica, NY anecdotes?

I wrote “Safe Side” while living in Binghamton, NY about 2 years ago, where I shared a house with some college friends. There was often talk about which neighborhoods were safe – especially when wandering around at night after parties. Even though we were living in a “good” neighborhood, someone was murdered down the block from us. It doesn't really matter where you are, or how you live. Exercising caution can only do so much.

And lastly, any words, cryptic hints, or preview quips about a full-length follow up to Takes?

I have some tunes lined up for the next release. There will probably be more live instrumentation, less synths. Hopefully it'll be groovy. I'm trying to stay groovy.

Bad Cello's “Safe Side” off the Finna EP available August 20 and September 17 physically from Double Double Whammy as well as through Miscreant Records.

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