Paul Federici – Relative Importance

17 Feb

One of the frequent contributors to Sounds That Matter, Mike Vial, contacted me not too long ago about doing a review on an independent artist named Paul Federici. Canadian born, Paul recently released his new new album, Relative Importance, this past January. I was more than happy to give Mike the platform to review the album since this artist is full of talent. Enjoy.

When a singer-songwriter hails from St. Catherine, Ontario, they have the disadvantage of being constantly compared to Dallas Green’s City and Colour project. For Paul Federici, it hits a little closer to home: He went to high school with Dallas, too.

Let’s note, Paul Federici’s first release, Relative Importance, has all of the highlights we might expect from a City and Colour record—a blend of emotive lyrics, vivid harmonies, authentic instrumentation—but Federici’s voice is an instrument of it’s own power.  His singing possesses an ability to be soft-spoken and gripping at the same time. It’s, dare I say, beautiful.

Paul Federici has the type singing style one seeks when exploring themes of lost love, guilt, regret, and reflection. Complex, legato harmonies are juxtaposed over minimalistic lyrics. A song like “True” only needs 21 words to paint a colorful landscape of honesty.

But this isn’t a simple record, especially musically. You will find unique open-tunings that offer a tiny hint of the Goo Goo Dolls or Duncan Sheik. Plus, Paul Federici has recruited a star-studded cast of Canadian musicians for the record. Listen for the drumming of Nick Skalkos (the Coppertone; Spirits), most notably on “Conveniently Yours”; Kirk Starkey’s cello on four songs, especially “Remember Me”; and the artistic production of producer moon:and:6 (Michael Chambers) from Catherine North Studios.

Relative Importance is a gorgeous work. With eight songs, it is a perfect introduction to Paul Federici’s singing talent; it will leave you wanting more. For now, you will have to leave this one on repeat.

To listen to Relative Importance in it’s entirety, click here. The album is “name your own price” so donate whatever you can, to help.

Huge thank you to Mike Vial for taking the time to write up this fantastic review and also being a frequent contributor to Sounds That Matter!

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