Since well before Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and even Thoreau’s meditations at Walden, New England has been a place for reflection, and the perfect venue for an artist to shut in and create. Vermont stalwart Joey Agresta knows this all too well, having spent the last three years writing and recording his album, Let’s Not Talk About Music, in his bedroom studio. It’s the first album being released under his own name (previously owning the pseudonyms Joey Pizza Slice and Son of Salami), and with this change, Agresta also exhibits the inherent solemnity that kind of comes with the territory. His single, “I Won’t Give Up” injects a rather soothing, kind of poppy melody with anthemic lyrics of self-affirmation and persistence. Choral guitar and a barebones beat start the track, a liquid coolant to the overheated radiator of your day-to-day. You almost hear the steam coming off, and it’s in the form of Agresta’s reassuring vocals, just the calmness of his tone fortifying your own resolve. And then emerges the highlight of the song, maybe of the album, maybe of your whole life: the sweetly whimsical accompanying vocals, provided by none other than Palberta. Like some kind of winged deity, their harmonies flutter around your ear, giving you your mantra forever. A fully struck chord at the 2:20 mark onsets the complete takeover of their mantric voices, as they repeat the song’s title until its close. Get it into your head. You won’t give up.
Let’s Not Talk About Music is due out May 12 on Wharf Cat Records.