Peculiar pop songs from a parallel universe, brilliant moments of joy and poignancy.
Boy, this is a tough review to write in English. Ta Paidiá Tis Palaiótitas (Τα Παιδιά Της Παλαιότητας), meaning The Children Of The Oldness, is a four-piece band that comes from the Venetian fortresses of Kerkyra (aka Corfu), the beautiful Greek island that lays at the northwest coast in the Ionian Sea. Greek lyrics, artistic approach and the whole atmosphere of their new third album are blooming with surreal, trashy and sometimes grotesque stories, most of them steamed from the Greek countryside.
“Ενθύμιον Νεανικών Συντροφιών” (“Juvenile Companions Souvenir”) is ΤΗΕ album of P.E. Dimitriadis’ life, as declared by himself in the record’s credits. Pantelis Dimitriadis is the main singer and composer of the band. He is already a cult figure of the Greek underground scene, mainly from his previous, unforgettable band Κόρε. Ύδρο (Kore. Ydro), from the first decade of our century.
The album consists of 12 songs that unfold like a folkloric narrative, influenced by literature and poetry (Giorgos Seferis, Dionysios Solomos, Nikos Gatsos, Nikos Karouzos, Manos Eleftheriou, Giorgos Chronas, Rilke, Goethe, Umberto Eco are some of the names mentioned), Greek musicians mostly from the ’70s, as the famous composer Manos Hadjidakis, Dionysis Savvopoulos, Giannis Spanos and Arleta, to name a few, and significant moments from the recent political life in Greece.
Alongside, the album feeds on Bruce Springsteen, Alice Coltrane and Nina Simone aura to travel into a new harmonic sound-world.
It’s a pity I guess and a downside for this album that its existential drama and weirdness probably won’t penetrate a foreign listener because of its Greek lyrics, but still, these elegant songs could make you cry or smile. Songs that shine as the best Greek “souvenirs of sadness and madness”, as James Skelly once said.
As for the song that’s included above: “Everything dies baby, that’s a fact / But for you I’m still alive”, sings P.E. Dimitriadis in his “Infinite Summers”.
Stream “Ενθύμιον Νεανικών Συντροφιών” LP on Bandcamp.
Ta Paidiá Tis Palaiótitas on Facebook.