New York bedroom balladeer’s latest outpourings are diamonds in the rough
The first thing that strikes you about John DeRosso AKA flout’s new album gims, is how lo-fi the recordings are. On the opening track along you can hear DeRosso’s cat meowing near the end and you can hear his flatmates footsteps in the background. At first these intrusions into DeRosso’s songs seem stylistically annoying. Yes we know you’re lo-fi. Yes we know you don’t record in a proper studio and yes we know it’s cool that you record and upload songs as soon as you’ve done them, but do we need the cat? After a few listens however you change your opinion. Yes we definitely do need the cat! DeRosso refers to them as ‘blemishes’, but they are more than simply the world bleeding into the songs. It’s these ‘blemishes’ that end up drawing you in. You even start to look out for them.
When you get past the outside influence of each song and their aesthetics, you realise that there is a touching melancholy and tender yearning to them. DeRosso explains this as “about being an adult, and coming to terms with a realized faulty version of yourself”. There is also an element of downplay to the songs too. DeRosso is still early in his song writing career, and might not feel confident enough to write a full blown pop song, so these rough sketches, so home recordings, with their imperfections just add to the mood and ambience. You feel like DeRosso is performing in the next room, and you shouldn’t over hear, but you do anyway. Just like prison albums when you hear someone urinate during a song, or shout to tell them to keep the noise down.
Clocking in at twenty two minutes, gims’ eleven tracks are pretty concise but that’s their ultimate charm. There is no messing about. DeRosso displays his deft skill as a song writer, as the songs have strong melodies and catchy hooks. This is an album that doesn’t just get in your head it get under your skin though heartfelt poignant lyrics, written verite style at times. There is talk that DeRosso is the new Alex G, it’s too early for that kind of speculation at the moment, but there is something about these songs that are akin to Alex G. And that ain’t a bad thing at all!