Valerio Lysander- We Are Like Coloured Moths Towards the Sunlight (Review)

Released on the 21st July, I’m finally getting round to reviewing Valerio Lysander’s wonderful album. The album was recorded in various locations across Rome and London with influences from Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor and Sufjan Stevens to name a few. A little bit about Valerio first is that he’s a British based Italian artist who has performed all over Europe. He situates in the genres Baroque Pop, Indie Folk & Art Rock. Having performed at events for Pride, his music is travelling across the world and I’m so glad because it’s captivating. Are you ready for a rollercoaster ride?

First track on the album, “The Moon” tells a story about nobody understanding you and feeling a bit lost with what to do. Then you realise, why not just be like the moon? The moon’s main purpose is to give light in the darkness and that’s exactly what Valerio does with this song. He turns a negative feeling into a positive, metaphorically including the moon as his example. The production of the piano mixed with the string instruments; cello and violin, create this warm, historic moment for the start of what seems to be an emotional album.

When a relationship ends, it’s the hardest thing on earth. Valerio mirrors this emotion in “Feathers,” which is about struggling to keep a long distance relationship working when its actually run it’s course. The delicateness of Valerio’s voice pours out despair of his loss. The clever chord changes echo how things can change so quickly in a relationship and how even a feather can cause a tsunami effect, in other words, similar to the butterfly effect. 

“If you Were Me You Would Be” tells the struggles of an independent musician and I can relate so much. With lyrics such as “this isn’t magic, I spent money and time on this” explaining that as a musician, people expect things will just happen when really, it’s the biggest task of all to puzzle everything together on your own. This song deals with, you could say, two Valerio’s (one being the backing vocals), the man vocal is being positive and strong, whereas the second Valerio is being slightly more, well, like the voice in your head. The song is humorous and takes us through a waltzed arrangement. Quirky music video too.

Next is a very gentle number about The Great Gatsby. “A Little Fast” has a drowsy momentum which compliments the anxiety of the song perfectly. This track also features the album title “We Are Like Coloured Mothers Towards the Sunlight.” I personally really like when a song features “we” so as the listeners, we can relate with the music. This slow number is a tear-jerker and hits you right in the feels. Beautiful.

Success is a hard thing to achieve, everyone’s perspective on it is different too and I think we all realise that. Valerio certainly does in “The Prince.” This track is a little bit different compared to everything we’ve heard so far. It features interesting vocal phrases, complicated chord progressions and subtle but haunting harmonies. The song is upbeat and really blesses ”world” music, showing another influence in Valerio’s music.

“Comme Une Rivière” means like a river. Yes, this song is in French. What can Valerio NOT do? I can picture this song being in a cinematic, award-winning film just like Into the Wild or something. It’s absolutely stunning. The song deals with the difficulties a person gets when taking their first few steps towards reaching their dream. This whole song was just like living in a dream. The simplicity, the note perfect essence and atmosphere it gives off is absolutely spine tingling.

It’s always hard to define yourself and figure out who you are as a person. “Cotton” deals with the complications of this. We live in a world full of labels that put us into categories, that some of us don’t like, unfortunately. Cotton is the longest track on the entire album and in my eyes, it’s probably the most powerful one of all too. The music video is wonderful, featuring many faces of different colours, all colours then are blended onto Valerio’s. The song aches in troubles of conflicts and desire to make a statement with yourself.

“Ryan” is a fun, pop inspired composition reminding me slightly of a Mika style arrangement mixed with Brendon Urie-esque vocals. The song simulates the feeling of being stuck in the friend zone by someone you really like. It’s an amusing song with the last lyric cementing this in stone… “Would you please reply to my text… bitch.” “I’m Screwed” is another entertaining song with the first line plummeting “why do I keep falling like a dickhead?” The song is about liking someone out of boredom. We all have been there, where we are head over heels for that one person and you get a bit, blinded by love. When that bubble pops though, you release (if it wasn’t the person you’re “destined”  to be with) that you were an idiot. The song gives off an aura that Valerio is a bit of a stressful person and overthinks, but I guess, who doesn’t?

Another song about success is “Little People.” You mustn’t forget your purpose when trying to reach your goal, and that’s where people fall sometimes. They forget why they’re doing something or even just lose the passion and that’s life unfortunately, it throws weird and hard obstacles at us all the time. The song is inspired by Mozart’s Sonata in F Major. This classical influence from Mozart shines all throughout the song and adds a pleasant nostalgic feeling to the song.

“Fools” was apparently a failed christmas song that turned into a song about how the only thing in life that’s guaranteed is death. It’s morbid and upsetting to think of, but true. “Will there ever be one time, when we feel complete inside?” is an excruciating lyric, because it’s 100% right. We all worry about things and at the end of the day, they won’t matter when we’re gone. I feel that a lot of people don’t think of death enough, the best way to think about it, is to accept it, because there’s no getting out of it. If people get worried about death, there’s a famous quote that can help …

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

Mark Twain

The second to last track, “Hymn” is a solo, piano song that Valerio plays with meaning. The theme is to be true to yourself and learning from your mistakes, plus accepting them. The track showcases Valerio’s vocal range reaching from high to low within a matter of seconds. The man lives for his music and it’s so amazing to hear.

“Le Stelle De Lu Cielu” is a traditional song from Rome which is a truly mesmerizing end to an exceptional album. To make things even more emotional, Valerio added a new verse into the song dedicated to his mother who sadly passed away in July 2017. I know for a fact, she’s looking down and feeling so proud of her son for releasing a truly, personal, heart-wrenching album.

Favourite Tracks: The Moon, Feathers, A Little Fast, Comme Une Rivière, Cotton, Fools, Le Stelle De Lu Cielu.
Score: 8/10

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