As modern life spirals further into chaos and confusion, David Vassalotti’s newest album Broken Rope, a follow-up to his revered out-of-print 2011 LP Book of Ghosts, presents itself as a soundtrack for the tumult.
Vassalotti, a Florida-based songwriter and performer for critically acclaimed 4AD signees Merchandise (among numerous other projects), has used this record as an opportunity to delve further into his own diverse world of personal interests. Broken Rope is a passion project, with Vassalotti handling all of the writing, performing, recording, production, and art design.
From lo-fi guitar pop sounds (a la Flying Nun staples like The Clean and The Verlaines), to elements of harsh industrial noise and musique concrete, Vassalotti weaves together a wide array of musical influences with a steady hand. Similarly, the album’s lyrics draw from literary references as far-reaching as Portuguese history, Russian folklore, and Spanish poetry.
Ambitious as it may be to cover so much ground, there is a rational flow and unity that ties the record together. In the chaotic globalism of the 21st century Broken Rope may not be the compass that orients us, but it can still serve as a mirror to help us see where we fit into the fray. This is an adventurous album for uncertain times.