Phoenix — Ti Amo

Loyaute · Glassnote |
A scoop of slinky-sweet ear-gelato

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It is the sense of smell that is most closely tied to memory. I recently reencountered the same shampoo that once spilled through my wetpack on an international flight years ago, and found a font of half-forgotten memories bubbling up with unexpected clarity. An astonishing new flavour of Tic Tac obtained on impulse from an airport bookstore. A certain godawful passport photo that has since fortuitously disappeared into the mists of time. A ruined pair of cheap, soapy sneakers flopping into a bin a continent away from where they were purchased.

The occasional crossed wire in my head expands that palette into more complex dimensions. A particular kind of taut, sinewy indie rock always leaves a tartness in my mouth, from the suppler woody notes of Haim to the sleeker sharpness of early Phoenix.

I’m not sure to what extent that matches up with what everyone experiences, or if a tiny grain of synaesthesia has lodged itself deep inside my brain.

I’m not convinced it matters that much.

Anyway, Ti Amo recalls the Mediterranean in a distinctly Italian way, reminding me of a country into which I have never set a foot and a sea into which I have never dipped a toe.

It is all freshly laundered linen and juicy ripe tomatoes; plump doddery nonnas and stylish skinny suits, with an occasional and surprisingly tasteful nod towards the defunct cadaver of disco. It is appealingly melty around the edges, but with a robust core of continental confidence.

It is Europop through a thick, rosy haze of vanilla, drizzled in a light syrup of summer berries.

Bon appétit.