Throughout my years of assessing, obsessing, and occasionally regressing because of music, I’ve looked forward to those moments once or twice a year where a band comes along and absolutely owns my listening time for a few months. Isabel at Sunset deserve the strongest of recommendations. A list of comparisons follows below, but in this case there’s something special going on that’s difficult to quantify with analytics and hyperbole. Meet the Gang is an incredibly intelligent, fun album that makes me really glad to be alive. I liked this record so much that I ended up promoting it. I hope you enjoy it too.
Tom Lee- Treblezine
Isabel at Sunset: In The Words Of Drummer Kevin Coley
Isabel at Sunset formed in Parma, Italy in early 2006. Prior to 2006, the main components of the band - Danilo Balconi (Balkous - guitar), Alain Marenghi (vocals), and Federico del Santo (The Saint- guitar) - knew each other and played in various local projects for years in and around Parma. Isabel at Sunset, however, did not coalesce as group until February 2006 with the addition of Filippo Bergonzi (Cianzo) on bass and me (Kevin Coley) on drums. Kevin moved to Parma from the States (Atlanta, Georgia) in January 2006, whereas Cianzo hails from Colorno - a small but very musically active satellite town located about 20 KM east of Parma.
The musical thrust of Isabel comes primarily from the efforts of Balkous and Alain, both of whom were engaged in solo projects throughout 2005. The duo serve as the band’s songwriting nucleus. Their musical styles are self-evidently indie and pop rock, with harmonic structures and arrangements blending to create the overall melodies that constitute the band’s sound. Isabel aim to produce catchy, interesting compositions that don’t come across as trivial, but rather whimsical and, at times, melancholic. The decision for the group to sing in English was made to enable the band to connect with a larger audience. It was also made with consideration to the fact that the band’s principal influences are English and American groups.
In February 2007 Piacenza based label Tea Kettle records contacted us with interest releasing a full length
album. Our debut, “Meet the Gang” was recorded over two weekends in May 2007 at the La Fabbrica di Plastica studio in Reggia-Emilia. The material found on the disc is the culmination of six months constant songwriting and rehearsing in Parma. The album was released in early June 2007 in time for Tea Kettle to present it at the Mi Ami Indie Label Festival in Milan. The weeks following Meet the Gang’s release have brought reviews for the album and our live performances (in particular: the Gazzetta di Parma - Parma’s newspaper and Music Boom on-line music reviews- www.musicboom.it)