Pearz is the project of Italian producer and musician Francesco Perini, better known for his work with bands as Hacienda and M!R!M!. He announced the release of the debut EP called Nocturnal which will be out on November 20th via Annibale Records. We introduced him with the remarkable track “Caffé Corretto” which revealed the groovy and infectious rhythms and the different shades of the sound: from the jazz lines and the funk connections, to the well-built melodies and the instrumental hip-hop vibes.
Today we share a new track called “At All Hours” which has different approach: the rhythms are smooth and the aesthetic structure in reinforced. Check it below and read our talk with the artist who details the new song and the upcoming EP.
“Nocturnal” is your first EP. According to the press release, it is a physical and mental trip through the night. Can you tell us more about this concept?
I wrote the whole EP during the lockdown, when London and the whole world was forced to live indoors, and I had trouble to fall asleep at night. So I started to imagine what I missed most about living in a big city, and what I missed the most during those days: going out at night. Once the songs started to come together, I started to develop the idea of a “soundtrack” for those unpredictable nights that all of us experienced at least once in our lives, when we leave our houses without expectations, and come back at sunrise after magical time out.
Today we share “At All Hours” which has a different mood compared to your first track “Caffè Corretto”. Is it right? What can you say about the sound of this track?
Yeah, that’s right, the two songs have different moods. I guess that comes from the way I wrote them. “Caffè Corretto” is a song moved by a driving bass line and a percussive piano that pretty much set the whole vibe. I was inspired by the early works of Sébastien Tellier for the piano part; and for the middle part I took from Piero Piccioni’s fine style of writing amazing soundtracks. With “At All Hours” I wrote the main riff first, influenced by the late 70s soul music and RnB. The 808 drum machine and the slapped bass are a sort of tribute to those specific sounds.
I think “At All Hours” is the perfect climax of the EP, in fact it is the third song, and
it’s the peak of something that started quite energetically with “Caffè Corretto”.
Also, It’s probably the sexiest song I’ve ever written ☺.
The artwork and some shades of your sound recall the 70s and the 80s. What do you like more of those years?
I had the pleasure to work alongside Raissa Pardini who is a great designer and a great friend. When we started to talk about the concept of the album, I let her listen to the EP and then we had a chat about those old Italian commercials from the 70s and 80s that we both loved and agreed to follow that style for the whole concept.
I like the designs and patterns of those decades, probably because they remind me of my youth. I find the 80s in Italy had an explosion of different eccentric colors and patterns both in design and fashion. It was definitely a moment of creativity and I was born right in the middle of it.
I guess it’s the same thing about the sounds; growing up there were always jingles on TV or commercials that had those synth sounds and those particular vibes which I was channeling. I guess in recent years, the opportunity of working and playing with M!R!M influenced me to dig more into those years and to try combine those 80s Italian dreamy sounds with modern productions.
You are Italian and now you’re based in London. I’m very interested to the connection between the places we live over the years, the territorial geography of our roots and the art. How do you feel these themes connect to your music and your way of thinking about music? What are your favorite places which have inspired you the most?
Besides being born and raised in Florence, I also lived in Los Angeles for three years in my early 20’s. The city was very inspiring yet overwhelming at times. The Nocturnal mood, easily fits into my life in LA; late nights and driving around the huge city full of people, yet there was also a feeling of isolation.
I have been living in London for the past seven years and I’ve got to admit that the city has changed me a lot. It helped me to understand and embrace a different way of making music. When I came here I was playing with The Hacienda, my band from Florence, and I had different expectations of London. I thought I had an idea of what the music business was and what I could give and receive from it. I thought I had experience because I was already 28 years old and I toured a bit and recorded a couple of albums. Instead, there was still more to learn and see. When I moved here I let myself absorb all kinds of music and gigs and I ended up in a sort of vortex which completely re-shaped my way of thinking and approach to music. I also met and learned from great musicians in the city both local and from diverse backgrounds.
I’m always attached to Florence, my family and many friends are still there, so I try to spend time there when I have a chance. Being far from home helped me to reconnect with some parts of the Italian culture and style that I took for granted when I was there. My music at the moment is the perfect combination between my life in the three cities. I’ve seen great cities over the last few years and they all inspired me. My top cities that have influenced me are many: from Kiev to Napoli, from Hamburg to Athens, from New York to Paris. The word is facing a weird moment but I want to believe that there is still freedom of expression through arts.
How are you living through these strange times and what are your main concerns as an artist?
I’ve struggled to keep up with what has happened over the last few months, from lockdown. I had a great year planned of touring with M!R!M since the new album came out in January, and also I had gigs with Tess Parks. I was looking forward to approach this busy year of touring after building everything over the last few years. Instead, everything got shut down and it’s hard to accept that live music might be postponed to at least mid next year.
I wrote this EP and other songs to deal with depression, it was a sort of therapeutic release. I think that my nostalgia for Italy during lockdown can be heard in the sounds of the EP.
At the moment, I am not into this concept of seeing live gigs streamed online where people pay a “ticket” to see their favorite artist performing in front of an empty venue. It scares me a bit, and I am afraid that it could turn into a new normal.
Ritual question. Have you seen or heard anything good recently?
I was able to see Calibro 35 as a live gig when I was back in Italy in July, it was probably my 7th time seeing them and of course they are always phenomenal, even at a socially distanced concert. I’ve heard lots of great new music released over the last few months like from these artists: Clap! Clap!, Knxwledge, Armed Dukes, Monte, Baxter Dury, TTRUUCES, Molchat Doma, Panther Modern, Human Creatures.