Is it fair to call Porcelain Raft a hidden gem? On the one hand, Mauro Remiddi, who is the man behind Porcelain Raft, has gathered a fairly loyal following, although interspersed across the globe. On the other hand, he hasn’t achieved the same level of popularity of similar synth-electronic acts that emerged around the same time, most notably Phantogram. However, since the release of his debut EP, Curve, in 2010, Porcelain Raft has been creating some of the most sublime and dreamy shoegaze, synth-pop, and his approach has been replicated by many, such as Coves, Priest, and Marbles Jackson.
Born in Italy, Remiddi start his career as a composer, writing the music for award-winning La Matta dei Fiori, a 30-minute short film about a day in the life of an Italian family. He would continue to compose music for plays, spectacles, and videos while dabbling in a variety of projects with other musicians. It wasn’t until 2010 when Remiddi founded Porcelain Raft, where he moved away from classical arrangements to integrating more synth and electronic sounds.
At this point in time, Remiddi had moved from Italy to the UK to New York, where he resided for a few years. It was also at the time when he achieved his breakthrough with the release of Gone Blind via Acéphale in 2011. The EP was brilliant and startlingly dreamy throughout its six songs. Within each song and across the album, it had a cascading feeling, where songs would explode into a lush and mesmerizing sound. On “Dragonfly”, your breath was taken away from the opening notes.
In 2012, Strange Weekend was released that included timeless singles “Drifting In and Out”, “Shapeless & Gone”, “Unless You Speak from Your Heart”, and “The Way In”. This was followed up with Porcelain Raft’s equally stunning but even more shoegaze-y Permanent Signal in 2013, which was highlighted by “Think of the Ocean”, “Night Birds”, and the marvelous and hypnotic “Echo”.
Now based out of Los Angeles, Remiddi returns with a new EP, Half Awake. Despite it being only five songs, it might be his most fearless effort, both personally and musically. It starts off with an uncharacteristic mournfulness that could be interpreted as scornful on “Leave Yourself Alone”. The title track retains the hurt and pain of the opener, but Remiddi returns to his familiar dreamy sound.
“All in My Head” follows, and within its shoegaze is a dark, industrial sound. “Love Chain” is a love ballad that tickles with ’80s The Cure. “Something Is After Me” is different in its approach – a piano-driven, brooding rocker that is remorseful in its sound as Remiddi tries to make sense of the world around him.
From his early works to his latest release, Porcelain Raft is creating music that moves people physically and emotionally. However, where he stunned listeners with his ethereal approach on his initial works, he now matches the brilliance of his sound with lyrics that are honest – brutally to a point – and meaningful. We hope that one day more and more people will discover this terrific composer, musician, and songwriter.
Porcelain Raft Tour Dates
6.22.15 – DC9 – Washington, DC
6.23.15 – Boot & Saddle – Philadelphia, PA
6.25.15 – T.T. The Bears – Cambridge, MA
6.26.15 – Baby’s All Right – Brooklyn, NY
7.6.15 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR
7.7.15 – Barboza – Seattle, WA
7.9.15 – Bottom of the Hill – San Francisco, CA
7.11.15 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA
*Cover photo by Malia James. Taken from Noisey.
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