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San Francisco, CA
Recorded and mixed by Scott McDowell at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco // Mastered by Justin Weis at Trakworx in South San Francisco // Produced by Festizio
Taking aim at love and loss, Hot City shows a band growing from their self-titled debut, proving that the colorful San Francisco four-piece is honing its sound. The moody electric wash is tight with structures that avoid lag or ostentatious solos.▼ Article continues below ▼
Festizio offers a heavy hand of late ’80s New Age poised on melodic synths, catchy guitar hooks and quirky, heart-on-the-sleeve vocals. The song “Hard to Leave” has a conversational, unhurried rub with a nod to the Talking Heads. The song’s background is hazily lit by distant, murmuring keyboards, rapping percussion and singer Keane Li’s bold voice.
Li’s lyrics have also improved, but could still use tightening, “Why do you keep me from sleeping / how do you keep this fire burning / I find it hard to keep breathing” (“Keep”). Developing the lyrics further could displace the emotional straightforwardness, while adding an endearing level of complexity and depth – an important feat for any band.
Hot City is a cohesive sophomore release that showcases the group’s affection toward edgy guitars, electronic flourishes and measured percussion. It’s exciting to hear a band develop this much in only one album; Festizio has a sound that swells with potential. (Self-Released)