The Octopus Tree is the second album by Miss Patty Miss & The Magic Circle, a band from Bologna led by vocalist Patrizia Urbani whose roots date back to 2005. It was released in 2014 on the independent label Irma Records, four years after the debut album New Eclipse. The line up on this new work features Patrizia Urbani (vocals, acoustic guitar), Silvia Telloli (piano, synth, Moog, backing vocals), Antonino Stella (electric and acoustic guitar), Massimo Tarozzi (bass) and Christian Di Maggio (drums, percussion). Along the years the musicians have honed their skills with a good live activity on the local scene and the result of their hard work is a nice album of classic rock tinged with psychedelia with no overtly complex tracks nor adventurous suites but never banal nor too openly derivative.
The excellent opener "Alchimia intenzionale" (Intentional alchemy) is sung in Italian and every now and again it reminds me of the optical visions depicted by Fabrizio De Andrè in his album Non al denaro, non all'amore né al cielo. It describes an unconventional, colourful form of soaring happiness where colours and perfumes are mixed in a lively psychedelic dance. Well, I think that's a really pity that the band didn't exploit more their native language...
|On stage 2011|
Next comes the dark, suggestive "Come Into My Silence". The soaring vocals warn you about an impending danger while casting a spell on you... Here the hieratic voice of Patrizia Urbani reminds me of the rock priestess Patty Smith. The following "Cold" is a wonderful visionary track describing the coldness of a world full of social differences and merciless businesslike attitudes... You would prefer to be a flower or a leaf softly floating in the wind or a little bird but you're nothing but a human being fighting with the cold.
The frenzied "Everchanging" veers to more modern sounds and in some way reminds me slightly of Deborah Harry and Blondie. Then it's the turn of the dreamy "By My Clock" and of the romantic, heartfelt "Little Seed". With "Simple Fall" the rhythm rises again and vintage sounds come back for a new, short psychedelic ride before calm down on the notes of the following "Promises", an acoustic ballad that reminds me slightly of Fleetwood Mac.
A nice psychedelic cover of Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan" and another piece sung in Italian, the lively "Adesso no" (Not now), close this fresh album full of colours and dreamy atmospheres. Prog lovers could be disappointed by the lack of really challenging compositions but if you like classic rock have a try and judge by yourselves: you can listen to the complete album HERE.