We all have times when we reflect on the past and consider how to move forward into the future. This is something that Sergio Napoletano has done over the last few years and turned into his EP Memory Aisle. Across the tracks, he considers new paths and reflects on formative experiences as he takes us on a trip down memory lane.
Napoletano has spent years perfecting his skills as a guitarist and played with some notable acts coming out of the Staten Island music scene. After finding his stride, and the perfect group of supporting bandmates, he has been creating immersive songs that range from light and airy, to gritty. Using a polished sound, the band showcases their skills and fuse their musical chemistry for listening experiences that are an absolute pleasure.
The EP opens with ‘Lockjaw’ and its somewhat retro feeling rock vibes. The opening of the track has a nostalgic feeling as you are transported back in time to the 90s. As the melody has you travelling back in time, the vocals reach out with a slightly hazy vibe. The combination of jangling rock melodics and hazy vocals is a real blast from the past. As you ride the nostalgic wave, the vocals have you reflecting on tough times and how you overcame them. While there is a heavy touch of reflective nostalgia in the track, there is also the consideration of a path forward, using what you have learnt from the past to make the future better.
‘Kids in the Hall’ has a more grounded feeling compared to the opening track. The high tones twinkle against the guitars to form a floating space that you rest in while sinking into the vocals. The haziness of the vocals in the opening makes an appearance only to be dropped by the main vocal line. The main vocal line has a wonderful indie rock vibe as the lyrics beckon you to stay for a while. Through the song, the band has you sinking into memories and thoughts that bring a good feeling to your chest. While there is a good vibe to the single, there is a thread of melancholy that tinges the memories, as you know what you are remembering is gone and can’t be felt again. It all comes together for a rather bittersweet feeling that is great to listen to.
The title track ‘Memory Aisle’ has a slight folk feeling to the guitars and piano line. This makes you think of summer days long gone, spent at the beach with friends. This track has the heaviest hit of nostalgia which has been injected into each note and word. The nostalgia creates a sepia wash to the single, while picking up that bittersweet feeling of the last track. You are invited to reflect on your memories through the single, but there is something about doing this that brings a touch of sadness. The vocals almost sigh against your senses as they hold your hand and walk down memory lane with you. Later in the track, there is a bridge that brings a splash of light and warmth that you can’t help but feel settle on your skin.
‘Downtown’ has the most sombre feeling of the EP as the song brings the melancholy of memories to life. From the first word, there is the understanding that the good things that fill your memories can never truly happen again. The melody picks up this melancholy and brings a grounded sense to the track. The vocals are a sombre sigh of depression against your ears as they reflect and consider how to move forward. There is a layering of vocals that adds to the nostalgic vibes of the music as they create a deep texture and cushioned feeling. Later in the track, the easiness of the track gives way to a soaring rock guitar riff.
The EP comes to an end with ‘Petty Folks’, which brings a touch of country twang to the EP. The guitars twang over the deep drums to create a floating feeling. This is an easy reflective song that feels like it is lifting something off your chest as you listen. The soaring guitar line adds texture and the lightest anthemic touch to the track. After the melancholy of the last track, there is a positive vibe to this track that lets you know the future is going to be better. It is the perfect way to close the EP with a hint of hope and the understanding that reflecting on the past can make the way forward a little easier.
Sergio Napoletano reflects on the past and considers the paths forward in life, through the tracks of his EP Memory Aisle. Each track has a touch of melancholy added to the lightness of good memories. Across the tracks, Napoletano touches on good memories, the understanding that the past can’t repeat itself perfectly and that path forward is lit by the good vibes of the past.