Oh, hey, I didn’t see you sitting there. It’s been awhile, and you’ve probably been wondering what’s been going on with us. Are we dead? Have we become billionaires and given up music? Or perhaps you stumbled here in error, as you have absolutely no idea what a Festizio is.
Well, it’s time to reintroduce ourselves.
Festizio is an alt-rock band based in San Francisco. We gigged actively in the past with over 30 shows in the SF Bay Area. Our two studio albums were recorded at the historic Hyde Street Studio C and John Vanderslice’s uber-indie Tiny Telephone.
But we’re not done yet! We’re currently recording our third studio album, and this time we’re doing it ourselves. And because we have all the time in the world to play with noises and experiment with sounds, you can expect something that’s a bit more Festizio than ever before.
We’re currently working on our third studio album. This will be an interesting release, combining all that we’ve learned as a band the past five years (yes, it’s been that long). Everything about our creative process has been shaken up, allowing us to think outside our normal songwriting tendencies. For example, we’ve started utilizing new instruments and sounds to build songs, rather than sticking with the traditional approach of building songs with the guitar or keys. Additionally, we’re drawing in more style variations from other genres (similar to what we did for our last album), adding more diversity to our melodies. The result will hopefully be something more organic, more fun and—if we can do anything about it—much more rock.
If you want to know what this sounds like, please sign up for our mailing list with the form at the top right of this page.
Summer was made for love, water sports and general slack-jawed laziness. With the fertile solstice behind us, we’re offering up our two big love songs off our studio albums for free, so you can enjoy them while you’re jet skiing across the horizon.
Thanks to everyone who came out to Hotel Utah last week! It was so great seeing the place packed with so many supportive people. Above, we’ve posted a video of us performing “Keep,” taken from one of our audience members.
Sometimes musicians actually create music instead of spending all their time marketing it. This is what we’ve been up to the past few months since our last show at Rockit Room at the end of January. We’ve got some new songs to share at our upcoming gig — Hotel Utah Saloon on May 11 — which so happens to be Keane’s birthday (me).
Our album is also officially out as of our last show, available pretty much everywhere online. See the links at the bottom right of this page to snag a copy at an official vendor (oddly enough, we caught a guy trying to sell them for $24 apiece on eBay… good luck with that!).
Well, it’s back to the rehearsal studio. If you want to follow us daily, friend us on Facebook and Twitter. And please do sign up for our mailing list using the box to the right.
FESTIZIO’S NEW STUDIO RELEASE, HOT CITY (ARTICLE BY ROBBIE FRASER)
In the opening minute of their title track “Hot City” you get a good feel for what Festizio’s music really is. The initial crescendo of electronica draws you in before giving way to accompanying guitar riffs. The synth element in the music is always there to compliment, but never totally overtake, as it often does with the growing number of bands now incorporating a more electronic element to their sound. After getting the chance to interview Keane Li, the lead singer and guitarist of Festizio, I realized that the reserved, yet effective balance I heard on the CD is part of what makes Festizio who they are. His attitude seemed to confirm the same calculated, yet melodic vibe the CD projects.
“When it comes down to it, we’re a pretty tame rock band according to the traditional image of rock musicians.” Li says. “We all have professions and we’re all down-to-earth. We’ve never fought and we work (thankfully) well together. We love music and work hard at creating something beautiful to share with others.”
According to Li, the band has plenty of the influences you might expect. Muse popped into my mind early while listening to “Hot City,” and Li confirmed as much, along with mentioning bands like Radiohead and Massive Attack. But they also draw inspiration from a wide array of old and new alternative bands, as well as modern hip-hop. They have a varied appreciation that is indicative of a band that genuinely enjoys and studies the chosen medium for their art.
When asked why he was drawn to music over poetry or other art forms, Li says “Music envelops you, surrounds you in a way that other forms of art can’t necessarily do. It’s like having a soundtrack for your life.”
If that’s Li’s goal, “Hot City” seems like something he and fellow band members Ryan Scott and Nicholas Mitrousis can be proud of.
It’s a goal that they make great strides in achieving by allowing the lyrics to do much of the work. With Festizio, you’re not likely to spend too much time thinking, “what did those guys just say?” If anything, they enunciate too well. While it might detract from the rock of their music, it lets the sometimes poetic nature of the lyrics shine. They are lyrics that portray an image of love and loss with a uniquely San Francisco backdrop.
However, ultimately, Li seems to illuminate the band’s goal best when he says “It’s really all about the experience of listening, I think, and we want to make it meaningful for people.”
He manages to sum up the noble aspiration of a multitude of aspiring artists. And with the release of “Hot City,” Festizio is that much closer.
Our new album, Hot City, is being featured as one of four albums in The Humble Bundle‘s first volume! Pick your own price and get all four albums while your funds go to benefit both VH1 Save the Music and Little Kids Rock. Great music for a great cause. Can you argue with that?
RECORD REVIEW: Festizio (San Francisco)
By: Christopher Petro
Taking aim at love and loss, Hot City shows a band growing from their self-titled debut, proving that the colorful San Francisco four-piece is honing its sound. The moody electric wash is tight with structures that avoid lag or ostentatious solos.
Festizio offers a heavy hand of late ’80s New Age poised on melodic synths, catchy guitar hooks and quirky, heart-on-the-sleeve vocals. The song “Hard to Leave” has a conversational, unhurried rub with a nod to the Talking Heads. The song’s background is hazily lit by distant, murmuring keyboards, rapping percussion and singer Keane Li’s bold voice.
Li’s lyrics have also improved, but could still use tightening, “Why do you keep me from sleeping / how do you keep this fire burning / I find it hard to keep breathing” (“Keep”). Developing the lyrics further could displace the emotional straightforwardness, while adding an endearing level of complexity and depth – an important feat for any band.
Hot City is a cohesive sophomore release that showcases the group’s affection toward edgy guitars, electronic flourishes and measured percussion. It’s exciting to hear a band develop this much in only one album; Festizio has a sound that swells with potential. (Self-Released)