A colourful project, if somewhat hit 'n' miss...

Ron Gallo’s ‘Peacemeal’ is a happy record. A bright album packaged in a brighter canary yellow box.

Gallo’s genre-bending exploration has landed himself this time with a lo-fi pop record. Simple lyrics, unassuming structure and his signature talky vocal work well together. ‘Peacemeal’ feels very honest to who Gallo is - a chilled out American.

Opening with twin summer bangers ‘(UOY DNIHEB FLESYM) EDIH’ and ‘HIDE (MYSELF BEHIND YOU)’ the album sets off to a positive start. Fun and poppy love songs which are contagiously danceable set the tone for the majority of the record.

The album does divert momentarily with ‘Please Don’t Die’. A song written after Gallo’s wife fainted after receiving bad news from an immigration lawyer. A topic of genuine concern; pleading with his girlfriend to never leave him. A touching ode to true love.

‘Best case we both die at an old age, in the same place at the same time’ - This gooey romanticism – a style which doesn’t appear to come quite as naturally - is quickly resolved by deeply homemade feeling ‘Saturday PT. 1’. Mostly just vocal, one repeating chord and a distant beat underneath, ‘Saturday PT. 1’ is mainly an interlude but reconvenes the comedic edge we’re used to from Gallo.

‘Peacemeal’ is an album of quick turnarounds, each song comes in at around two and a half minutes. An album ideal for the instant info era we’re living through. The latter half of the album has a groovier tone. Swung shuffly drums, shoegazey guitars and catchy hooks. Track 9 ‘CAN WE STILL BE FRIENDS’ wouldn’t go amiss on a summer R&B playlist.

Faux record-skip effects and telephone style vocal make ‘CANCELLED!!!’ a cliché throwback to nineties indie, yet Gallo manages to pull it off. Despite the occasional comedy thrown in, Gallo’s music always feels authentic which definitely gives it greater weight than the generic lo-fi indie we’ve heard over and over.

Overall a pleasant and easily listening album though not one offering anything fresh. Did this style of music get left in the last decade? - Despite the genuine sincerity that shines through over the cliché’s of indie pop, ‘Peacemeal’ has all the ups and downs of a man singing to himself in his bedroom.

6/10

Words: Amelia Lloyd

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