John Floreani’s soaring performance introduces the world to sin.
John Floreani is on the verge of releasing his most important album to date. Many know him as the vocalist of thriving Australian rock band Trophy Eyes, or even as Little Brother, but those who aren’t in the know are about to meet him with the release of sin – an album built from the foundations of a young man trying to find happiness in the world.
Floreani has coined his craft with his cutting edge, no holds barred lyrics. sin – you’ll be pleased to hear – opens in this exact same fashion.
Having you around was like having a knife in my back pocket.
We shed a lot of blood,
But that don’t count for much now does it?
Oh Brother is the perfect opening track to an album. It has an attitude that introduces itself and produces a silky hook that pulses through the song, and long after its finished. The lyrics are exceptionally heartfelt and warmly relatable – the harder you listen, the more you get from it. Its anecdotes are wildly accessible and the vocals they are delivered with are remarkable. If you were to listen to some of Floreani’s early music and compare it to this… the development is astonishing.
The more time spent with the LP, the more it becomes clear that this is a theme across the whole release. Echoes is one of, if not THE strongest track on the album for the sheer excellence of the soaring vocals on offer. While they may not fit the traditional mould, they are unique and really have a sense of identity that, as Floreani laments through the hook, is hammered home. Furthermore, his delivery throws up questions about the imagery at work, which is wonderfully simple, yet creative. The idea of ‘feeling’ someone in the walls is finite, yet it demands an attempt to imagine a relationship where the emotion is so overwhelming you physically cannot escape it.There is no option but to be pulled under.
The cry of “I could do this until I am dead” that welcomes the listener to Cocaine acts as a nice respite within the album; just as you feel as though you have been entirely emersed into the world of sin, you get a moment to snap out of it and reflect. However, as Cocaine gets going, the intense use of synths slightly detracts from its sound. The potential is there, but this song doesn’t feel as complete as its peers and honestly feels as though it is trying a little too hard.
However, Don’t Wait Up has a swagger to it, one that instantly captures your imagination and places it into a 1980s aesthetic. Before the listener is allowed to settle in this delicately crafted, silky atmosphere, lyrics such as “I got fucked up and threw up” cut strongly through it and remind us all of why Floreani is one of the honest, storytelling greats of the genre. Even when you relax into his music, you can’t get comfortable.
While Before The Devil Knows I’m Dead may be one of the most lyrically simple on the album, but it is also one of the strongest. This song defines less is more. The story delivered by the lyrics feels to be an honest plea for help, and as you listen you are fully absorbed by the track as its narrative unfolds. Luckily, the brooding undertones of this song seep perfectly into Repent. The dynamic percussion used in this song is refreshing and again gives it a cutting edge. This song is offers something a little different to the rest and gives the listener a sneak peek at what the future could hold for Floreani’s music.
Perhaps the perfect way to end the album, I Don’t Want To Be Here Either encompasses all the themes of the LP and packages them into 3 minutes 26 seconds. Simplicity, power, raw emotion, lyrical prowess, soaring hooks, dark corners: there is no stone left unturned with this song. Lyrics such as “I will never stop blaming myself for what you did, I guess we are all just one bad day away from a hospital bed” are important and deserve to be heard. John Floreani is a man who has been hurt and has the courage to tell the story. I Don’t Want To Be Here Either is the crowning jewel of this album.
Although sin isn’t necessarily distinguishable from Little Brother’s music, it feels to be a positive progression. This album showcases that Floreani has found lyrical vices to express his emotion, rather than feeling the need to force the lyrics from his throat with spite. This may not come as welcome news for the old-school fans of the artist, but it is time to welcome the new… sin is the start of a project, one where a young man is trying to find his place in the world.
Pre-order sin now: http://johnfloreani.com/