Luca Bash: Indie Folk Balanced With Italian Flare [Review]

Luca Bash

Italian native Luca Bash has a 30-year pedigree in writing and producing beautiful, acoustic-based folk songs. In 2014 he teamed up with guitar virtuoso Giova Pes to release four interconnected EPs, called the CMYK project. Key Black, Yellow, Cyan and Magenta were the respective names of the albums, corresponding with the main ink colors in a printer. Never one to take shortcuts, Bash has now released a new compilation EP called Single Drops to highlight his favorite tracks from the CMYK EPs and to introduce his newest original single, Your Tomorrow.

The term “acoustic” doesn’t exactly cover the intricacy and skill with which Luca Bash composes his songs, nor does it accurately describe Pes’ skill with the acoustic guitar. Both are clearly classically trained and able to conjure complex and emotive sounds from this deceptively simple medium. Each base guitar track is expertly crafted by Bash, while Pes adds high quality ornamentation. Both players have flawless technique. The guitar style is, surprisingly, mostly American folk driven, with some Spanish/Latin flare and is generally rather upbeat.

Luca Bash admits to having a fixationLuca Bash on the more bleak and introverted side of life. Though the guitar composition is cheery, the lyrics to most of the songs chosen for Single Drops conversely reflect the underside of Bash’s musical personality. Bash freely asserts that he has a tendency to examine the darker elements of life in his writing, and that is evident in his music. So that the upbeat guitars and more melancholic subject matter do not clash too much, the sound quality of Bash’s vocals take on an indie tone which compliments the subject matter.

In music such as what Bash and Pes are trying to create with the CMYK project and Single Drops, a careful balance needs to be struck and it is not easy with such subtle music. The new track on Single Drops, Your Tomorrow is a great example of how expertly Bash is able to achieve this balance, and it is even more subtle than his previous CMYK tracks. The musical track follows the simple acoustic melody fans have come to expect from Bash and Pes, but with less of Pes’ perky and firey Latin-inspired ornamentation. Bash’s vocals have similarly more muted tones than usual, but he manages to find passion within these self-built folk confines.

The subject matter to the lyrics of Your Tomorrow is still rather charged. Bash discusses the frustration of working within a confining and corrupt modern societal system while still trying to find hope and love. The lyrics are thus also a balance, discussing love versus fear and finding happiness in a world of doubt. An aching hopefulness exists within Your Tomrrow which makes it novel for Luca Bash, as this is a theme not often seen in his writing.

Luca Bash has decided to continue his successful CMYK project with the Single Drops EP compilation. In his native Italy he won awards for the great balancing act which is his subtle and complex acoustic folk music. With Your Tomorrow a shining example of Bash’s skill at putting dark and light, dreamy and real, subtle and stark elements together to create his deceptively simple brand of music, it is likely that he will now gain more recognition on the international stage.

Review by Layla Klamt

Sources: “Luca Bash – Your Tomorrow” “Luca Bash – Single Drops”

Images provided courtesy of Luca Bash media kit.

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