The subtle tug-of-war between the power of youth and the perspective of experience usually comes when young artists break the mold put in place by seasoned veterans from the former generation. It’s how new art is made.
But in the case of Corsicana, this cliché plays out in a completely different way. At just 22 years old, Ben Pisano is one of Colorado’s most pure, “singerly” indie rock band leaders, and has already clocked two full-length Corsicana albums, each of which he performed and self-produced. Additionally, he’s played in a handful of other projects, earning years of combined experience as a sideman and instrumentalist. On his newest single “Wreath,” Pisano, it seems, has cracked the balladeer’s code: finding the sweet spot between the excitement of youthful derring-do and the know-how of an old pro. The lyric video for “Wreath” premieres today via BandWagon Magazine, below.
Glossy, classic indie-rock guitar touches twirl around Pisano’s delicate falsetto on the track, which lays down a groovy, mid-tempo trance underneath lyrics like: “adjacent cause; adjacent flaws: they do not spell out a name, nor the boundaries you claim when you feel you fit the frame.” It’s tasty poetry for pensive art-rock intellectuals, yet the band’s vibe, led by Sumner Erhard, the track’s drummer and especially melodic bass guitarist, pulses with universal appeal.
But Pisano’s identity as the face of Corsicana is only half the game. He’s also the recording engineer, mixer and producer on “Wreath,” which is impressive. Of particular note is the ambient drone-bed in the track’s bridge, apparently a thick layer of processed voice memo samples. Here, Pisano wears his Death Cab Transatlanticism influences proudly on his tattooed, slender sleeve. But rather than that bridge giving way to an expected, bombastic return of the full-band chorus, it turns out to be the track’s coda. It’s a surprise ending, which leaves Corsicana’s Jeff Buckley fans waiting for the other shoe – or shoegaze, if I may – to drop.
These subtle left-turns and the over-all polish of the track are a nod to Pisano’s growing prowess and pop-sense as a producer and collaborator. It shows his love of the poetic, art-leaning and slightly unexpected but his respect for the classics as well. With pandemic regulations still in place, count yourself lucky that Pisano’s home-quarantine spot also happens to be his studio, and that new songs are in the works. Here’s to more “Wreaths” in the future for us to wrap our ears around.
Check out the official “Wreath” lyric video below: