Francesca Michielin, who never ceases to amaze

Francesca Michielin, who never ceases to amaze

March 13, 2020 Francesca Michielin released the album “Feat – State of Nature”, an album of duets, as implied by the 'feat' in the title. At the press conference the Venetian musician introduced it by declaring, “Music today is fluid and pushes us to experiment”. Four years later we went to reread the review we published at that time.

On the one hand there is the music nerd who grew up with records by Damien Rice, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine, who plays the bass, the guitar, the piano, who studies at the Conservatory and who in her songs quotes Stevie Wonder. On the other hand, there is the girl who is the daughter of her time, who listens to indie, urban and trap, who knows that liquid music knows no barriers, who studies new trends and trends under the stages of international festivals. absorbs. Three years after “2640”, the singer-songwriter album that saw her flirt with ItPop even before recording songs written by Calcutta and Tommaso Paradiso became a trend, Francesca Michielin returns with an album in which she enjoys putting this song to music dichotomy. “Feat – Stato di natura”, as the title itself suggests, is an album of duets and collaborations that have seen the Venetian singer-songwriter interact with producers and artists sometimes close to her world, sometimes very distant: from Maneskin to Giorgio Poi, passing through Fabri Fibra, Gemitaiz, Shiva, Elisa, Dardust, Coma Cose, Fred De Palma, Takagi & Ketra, Max Gazzé, Carl Brave and Charlie Charles.

A playlist album, conceived as a container of many genres, styles and sounds capable of bringing together both fans of the new Italian songwriting and those who prefer the current rap and trap scene? The metaphor is in some ways obvious and banal, but fundamentally “Feat – State of nature” is precisely this: if in putting together the pieces of “2640” Francesca Michielin had allowed herself to be guided by a coherence of style and content (that was the record of his “indie” turning point, with the influence of Calcutta, Paradiso and Cosmo, at the time – hell, so many things have happened in Italian music that it seems like a decade has passed! – three leading names on the scene, today three protagonists of the new Italian pop), here the singer-songwriter didn't pay too much attention to homogeneity. Quite the opposite: he tried to bring together many different inspirations within a single album, without however getting carried away and maintaining a certain compactness in form (the album lasts just over thirty minutes, nothing in comparison to the endless mixtape records that are so fashionable today, even in pop).

Wearing the role of director and interpreter at the same time, Francesca called together authors, producers and singers coming from different backgrounds and experiences: from rock (Tommaso Colliva, former collaborator of the main exponents of the Italian indie-alternative scene, who hand on the title track) to urban (Charlie Charles and Mahmood, both enlisted for “Cheyenne”), through trap (Shiva, a Milanese talent at his side in “Gange”), hip hop (three songs were born in studio of Frenetik&Orang3, a Roman duo already at the service of the main names of the Capitoline scene), ItPop (Carl Brave, who in “Star Trek” ideally takes Michielin for a walk through the streets of a sun-kissed Trastevere in the height of summer) and pop (Elisa, Dardust).

It is from the comparison that the singer-songwriter learned to feel at ease even in territories that she had never explored in her records, such as reggaeton in a retrofuturistic key with 80s echoes of “Acqua e soap” (co-signed by Tommaso Paradiso, produced by Takagi & Ketra, sung with Fred De Palma), the space hop of “Riserva naturale” (one of the pieces produced by Frenetik&Orang3, recorded with Coma Cose), the gospel hip hop of “Monolocale” (with the rhymes of Fabri Fibra), the Latin pop of “Yo no tengo nada” (sung together with Elisa with autotune, with a touch of Dardust).

The goal was to record a record that could combine electronics and analog: not only sounds obtained by connecting a Midi keyboard to the PC, but also “real” basses, scratchy guitars, analog keyboards and body percussion, thinking about the dimension of live shows. And also experimenting vocally, with parts sung in growl (typical of rock – listen to “Stato di natura” with Maneskin, a hard rock piece à la Led Zeppelin, if you believe it), up to jazz scat (“La vie ensemble”, a folk song in French sung together with Max Gazzé). Listening to the final result, the operation was a great success. “Feat – Stato di natura” is a record that sounds like Duemilaventi, contemporary and current, fashionable at the right point (there are the now omnipresent Dardust, Charlie Charles and Takagi & Ketra, it's true, but there is also the not yet blasted Giorgio Poi and someone, like Max Gazzé, who doesn't indulge himself so often). An album that is a product of his time but with démodé references here and there. Just like Francesca, who never ceases to amaze.