“Kite” is the debut album for Atlanta based musician Tony Scimeca. Scimeca, a fellow Georgia Tech student, describes his music as, “indie rock with electronic pop tones,” and while several of his songs confidently fall into this category, it is a slight simplification on the album as a whole.
“Kite” contains songs ranging from playful electronic ditties to melancholy ballads to optimistic indie-anthems. Some listeners may welcome this variation, and enjoy Scimeca’s attempts to express a variety of sounds. However, those who are looking for a consistent album may find the wide range frustrating.
That being said, it is obvious is a multi-talented musician that is still experimenting to find his best sound; this album would have been more coherent if he had avoided showcasing them all at the same time.
This is not to say that the album is completely void of unity. He blends the upbeat electronic numbers with the folksy songs to create a theme about freedom and its many different meaning. Scimeca’s take on freedom is brave.
He does not shy away from the darker undertones, instead looking them straight in the face, most notably with his song, “Fading Away,” which wrestles with the feelings a person experiences after their partner has utilized their free will to end the relationship.
This is offset by “World 1-1,” a summer song that commemorates the possibilities and freedoms of new relationships.
What Scimeca lacks in stylistic unity he makes up in thematic unity, blending different styles to demonstrate the range of emotions associated with freedom.
This is why “Kite” works better as a complete album than as a series of singles, despite the fact that it boasts several catchy tunes that can stand on their own. “Sunset Holiday” and “Nothing is Real” are the type of feel-good songs that will get stuck in your head for days and deserve to be played in the background of movie montages.
They are the type of song perfect for blasting in the car as you drive to the beach because they do not require intense concentration in order to grasp the emotions behind them.
On the other hand, the album’s pensive indie-ballad moments about the decision to live for yourself, transporting the listener to a somber state of remembered captivity.
“Starry Night” and “Drones,” the album’s opening and closing songs, are electro-influenced songs that possess addictive beats.
Perhaps the themes of the songs create the unity here, but only if you are willing to accept that it is not the conventional type found on most albums.
Once Scimeca polishes his sound, he has the potential to be a powerhouse musician.
A few of the songs feel disjointed, most notably the rap portion of “Nothing is Real,” and while most of his songs are short, a few of the longer ones flirt with becoming repetitive.
Scimeca’s voice is not the strong point of the album either, and the lyrics tend to get hidden behind the loud electronic tones of his music.
What he excels at are the emotions behind the music. This is why, more than anything else, Scimeca’s debut album is promising.
Tony Scimeca is an artist worth keeping up with, as he has great potential as a songwriter and musician, though it may behoove him to enlist the help of a professional vocalist to really bring the messages out of the music with crystalline clarity.