Armonite began life in Pavia in 1996 and in 1999 released an interesting debut album entitled Inuit on the independent label Mellow Records. After a long hiatus, in 2014 the band came back to life on the initiative of Paolo Fosso (keyboards) and Jacopo Bigi (electric violin), two classical trained musicians in love with rock and modern audio-visual arts. For the recording sessions of their new album, The Sun Is New Each Day, thanks to the new technologies who allow working via internet, the line up was temporarily completed with the contribute of British bassist Colin Edwin (from Porcupine Tree) and Dutch drummer Jasper Barendregt while the guest Marcello Rosa played cello on two tracks. The album was produced, engineered and mixed by Paul Reeve in Cornwall, mastered by Geoff Pesche at the Abbey Road Studios in London and finally digitally self-released in 2015 on bandcamp with a nice art work by Cyril Rolando a.k.a. AquaSixio.
The album features nine relatively short instrumental tracks where violin and keyboards perfectly interact with each other weaving charming melodic lines backed by the tight rhythm section. The classical influences are strong but always mixed with gusto and extravaganza, there are no long suites and although the pieces are not overtly complex they are never banal and the music flows away without weak moments. According to the band, some of the pieces were conceived as short soundtracks and some videos were shot to complete in some way the music. It's the case of the nice opener "Suitcase War", suspended between classical tradition and modernity, where you can see in the video the band performing in a virtual, empty opera theatre with the help of a remote drummer...
The following "Connect Four" blends touches of electronica, a bit of folk and brushes of classical taste and leads to the frenzied "G as in Gears" that features a short narrative vocal part evoking a commuter's routine, then comes "Sandstorm" that conjures up Oriental sceneries and ethnic flavours... The overall sound is well refined and the songwriting brilliant and full of nuances, although every now and again light reminiscences of albums such as Jet Leg by Premiata Forneria Marconi or Florian by Le Orme could come to mind the band sound modern and not stuck in the past at all.
The disquieting "Slippery Slope", the dreamy "Satellites", the hectic "Die Grauen Herren", the delicate, romantic "Le temps qui fait ta rose" and the conclusive, video-game inspired "Insert Coin" complete a coherent and cohesive set that in my opinion is really worth listening to.
The aim of the band is to play their music live as much as possible, that's why you can legally download the complete album for free: the musicians just hope that you will enjoy the music and spread the word out to help them to find gigs around the world, so... Well, have a try and judge by yourselves!
You can listen to the complete album HERE