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Sebastian Straw – Photo Credit: Luca Faustinella
Today Italy is in focus in Britpop territory… How can it be so? Well, Sebastian Straw has popped up on The Big Takeover’s radar with his new single ‘My Friend’, a catchy song that foreshadows the album Welcome Yesterday, to be released in mid-October via Seahorse Recordings.
Although he’s based in Italy, this one is a great find for Britpop lovers everywhere and more specifically fans of Oasis, The Verve, Supergrass, Blur, Liam Gallagher, Richard Ashcroft, and Gaz Coombes. The sound is refreshing – a kickback to mid-‘90s Supergrass and Oasis. The lyrics are thoughtful and based in a tangle of problems surrounding friendships that many of us have experienced. Hooky, melodic, sensible and something we can all identify with – sounds like a winning formula.
‘My Friend’ tells the story of a dear and trusted comrade, who is both humble and stubborn and who resolves to face his difficulties alone, silently declining any help from his friends.
This single, one of 11 tracks on this long-play, is accompanied by yet another solid track, entitled ‘Happy People Shine’. The videos for both songs were filmed in Sicily, Italy. The full album is produced, mixed and mastered by Paolo Messere at Seahorse Studio in Marsala.
Based in Italy, Sebastian’s music presents a mix between Noel Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft, reveling in an imaginary tug-of-war between Liverpool, London and Manchester. With a style that is uniquely his, his works are sometimes melancholic, full of harmonic touches with plenty of distorted electric and acoustic guitar, pianos and keyboards.
Sebastian is and has always been an atypical frontman, with a calm but brazen attitude on stage. Shadowy and shy, in life as in music, inseparable from his Jazzmaster and his acoustic guitar, he writes his music in the intimacy of the night hours, when the city sleeps the mix of the most beautiful and the ugliest thoughts becomes perfect.
Well known in the local music scene, having played for a long time in a local band, Sebastian Straw is now branching out on a solo trajectory. In his music, he draws strength by channeling anger, disappointment and suffering into goodness through his music. Lost friends, disappointments, people who lacked faith in him – oddly enough, the worst experiences bring out the best in him, contributing positively to his growth as a man and an artist.
From an early age, Sebastian has had to overcome obstacles on his music path. Taking up piano at age 8, he soon learned that making mistakes brought notable negative repercussions, so eventually pursued other instruments, like drums and guitars. In his teens, he fronted various local bands. From 20 he worked and studied in Rome and Florence, while dabbling in music, leading to his 2003 victory as “Best Voice” prize in the “I have a dream” contest. Being a healthcare specialist with an agenda divided between hospital work and other activities, recent personal problems propelled him to resume his musical career, more determined than ever before.
“The lyrics on this album are autobiographical but anybody can read a bit of their own lives in them. We all – at least once – have fallen and got up on our feet again. Somehow we have found the strength to face our biggest problems without running away by seeking shelter somewhere we feel safe, still facing reality, proud of who we are today and how we arrived here. It was hard but if I look back I still manage to smile. This is where my album ‘Welcome Yesterday’ comes from,” says Sebastian Straw.
Welcome Yesterday will be released on October 18 and will be available across digital stores and streaming platforms.
Also check out the video for the very Verve-esque track ‘Happy People Shine’ (not to be confused with R.E.M’s ‘Happy Shiny People’):
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