‘Horse Latitudes’ by Andrea Van Cleef | Album Premiere

Uncategorized April 3, 2024

‘Horse Latitudes’ by Andrea Van Cleef | Album Premiere

Exclusive album premiere of ‘Horse Latitudes’ by Andrea Van Cleef, out on vinyl, CD, and digital formats on April 5, 2024, via the Italian label Rivertale Productions.

The new record signifies a turning point in the musician’s career, transitioning from heavy-stoner rock with previous bands Van Cleef Continental and Humulus to “Americana” driven songwriting, with a shift towards southern gothic atmospheres reminiscent of Johnny Cash’s ‘American Recordings,’ infused with a distinctly European, particularly British, dark touch.

‘Horse Latitudes’ was conceived and recorded in two locations and time periods: Texas and Italy. It reflects the artist’s deep fascination and inspiration drawn from western cinematography, combined with the concept of folk music. It serves as a contemplation on the meaning of existence and one’s journey through imagery rich in totemic and archetypal symbolism.

The initial sessions took place during Andrea Van Cleef’s Texas tour in late 2022 and early 2023, at Rick Del Castillo’s Smilin’ Castle Productions studio. Del Castillo, known for his work with Hollywood director Robert Rodriguez, contributed to the soundtracks of films such as ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’ and ‘Machete’. Production of the Texas tracks involved collaboration with several local musicians, notably the esteemed guitarist Matthew Smith, a session man legend from Austin.

Upon returning home, Van Cleef completed the album with a second session at Buca Recording Studio in Montichiari, working with sound engineer Simone Piccinelli. Here, the musician’s regular band members were enlisted, along with Dana Colley, saxophonist of the late Morphine, for notable guest appearances.

Ahead of the album’s release, the first single, ‘A Horse Named Cain,’ accompanied by a black-and-white video directed by Angelo Maffioletti, pays homage to cult noir cinematography with nods to contemporary Nordic production. The video features prescient shamanic visions juxtaposed with scenes in evocative snowy forests, featuring Van Cleef alongside his black horse and white female alter ego.

Born at the foot of the Italian mountains of Vallecamonica, Andrea Van Cleef relocated to Brescia after completing his university studies in languages, where he continues to reside and produce his music. Despite having performed on various European and national stages in recent years, Van Cleef emphasizes that it is within the Brescia territories that he truly feels at home.

As a guitarist and enthusiast of stringed instruments, Van Cleef possesses a voice characterized by its intense and recognizable timbre. He not only composes and sings his own songs but has also ventured into producing music for other artists. In 2012, his first solo album, “Sundog,” showcased his expressive and compositional skills with international acclaim. Singing and writing exclusively in English, Van Cleef infuses his work with a creative and visionary Italian approach, as well as the pragmatic sonic sensibilities of his Valleys.

The distinctive and personal style of the self-produced ‘Sundog’ has garnered interest among insiders and genre enthusiasts, leading to its reissue through collaboration with the Rivertale Productions label. Undoubtedly, the most significant aspect of Van Cleef’s musical career is his live performances. Not only was ‘Sundog’ presented on tours across Italy, Switzerland, and Germany, but Van Cleef also consistently performs a staggering number of concerts annually—approximately 90-100 shows—frequently varying from solo and acoustic duo performances to more elaborate ensembles.

Van Cleef’s diverse musical journey includes participating in international stoner-doom rock festivals with Humulus, contributing to albums like ‘Rhino’ (2017, Kozmik Artifactz) and ‘The Deep’ (2020, Kozmik Artifactz), as well as opening for renowned blues-rock artists such as Ben Harper and The White Buffalo’s sold-out Italian show at Alcatraz in Milan. Regardless of the configuration, Van Cleef’s shows are known for their ability to captivate and engage audiences.

Headline photo: Mark Del Castillo

Andrea Van Cleef Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp / YouTube
Rivertale Productions Official Website / Facebook / Instagram / YouTube

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