Artists creating content under monikers isn’t anything new but seeing a musician go by the name of “gay angel” is eye catching to say the least. While most artificial names musicians will use are only skin deep, Jake Bellissimo’s use of the title is a perfect indication of the music he provides: wonderfully blissful and, if we’re going by the dictionary definition of being happy, very gay.
The eponymously titled track Piece Of Ivy was released at the tail end of last month and perfectly set the scene for what listeners can expect on this six track LP. With the delicate playing of piano alongside the plucking of his acoustic guitar, there’s a definite feeling of acceptance, almost like the epilogue to the depression ridden nature of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago.
The rest of this release seems like it will carry the same positivity as the opener and thankfully spices things up as it goes on. Take for instance the small 44 second interlude Memento Mori which, as the title would suggest, feels very reflective and, alongside the use of an accordion near the end of the track as well as some romance tinged lyrics, feels like what you’d expect to hear on a gondola ride alongside your beloved sweetheart.
However, the latter half of Piece Of Ivy takes a dark turn just after the purely instrumental track The Burning Sky which feels theatre-esque. Grand in scale, boasting bodacious orchestral arrangements, the track feels utterly shocking due to what has came before. (A Considerable Amount Of) “Ow” makes the comparison between heartbreak and physical pain quite well, talking of broken legs alongside the instability that inevitably follows a romance gone sour.
This is where Bellissimo doesn’t so much shine but radiate storytelling beauty. Swan Song definitely captures the bitterness of an ex lover, going through his mundane start to the day while dwelling on the past. The isolated guitar strumming feels like a perfect match and the previous resemblance to Bon Iver comes out on full force.
“Does the light reflect off your beating eyes” are one of the many lines that hit home a wave of empathy, undisputedly evoking emotion due to the sincere and simple beauty Bellissimo’s love displays. Piece Of Ivy deserves a listen due to its ambition, excellent execution and, just like the old flame in question, the power it has over you.
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