When I was a kid there was a band that few people knew (at that time) who made me get the chills everytime. Their name? The Wallflowers. Why are they relevant? Pepe Belmonte’s kind of sonority is very close to theirs. An americana-folk like flow kindly supported by meaningful lyrics that sound like a gentle storytelling. All encompassed by a type of singing that is melancholic and melodic without being too much. Without getting too far from that tone of familiarity that makes us feel warm inside.
Originally a folk-blues guitarist, there are some very nostalgic Nick Drake-ish elements in this essentially Irish’ song. Open Water, released today, is a marvellous example of how blues and folk can be listened to by every single one of us. Aiding with the cause to understand the song further is a fine notion of the sonority and the cleverness of giving the guitar the capability to float away from the general melody. And it’s in that, where Open Water feels the most genuine.
Pepe’s latest album The Hermit’s Waltz and subsequent tour was originally set to be happen 9(!) years ago but that was pushed away by a serious bicycle crash and a period of rehabilitation and therefore dark re-discovery. Pepe is now back, and we feel he is right on this time. The recent live EP Live at the Royal Albert Hall perfectly demonstrates that feeling together with those old sonorities that feel so welcome in these modern days. Open Water is the first single from his upcoming album with the same name.
Pepe will play a show with Mesadorm next Monday (20th January) at the Servant Jazz Quarters in London. Make sure you get to see him!