French Teen Idol – El Siete Es La Luz

French Teen Idol - El Siete Es La Luz

Talk about false advertising.  There is no one French is this band.  No one who is a teen.  No one who is worthy to bow down to.  French Teen Idol is not even a “band” per se, but a solo instrumental project created by Rome, Italy-based Andrea Di Carlo.  He crafts his ambient electronic soundscapes from repetitive loops and layered progressions, mixing in strings, piano, and vocal clips, with the effects turned up so that if played loudly, the result is sonically engulfing.  El Siete Es La Luz is Andrea’s third self-released album.

Opener “Rome Shrugged” hangs in the air with suspended synth notes contrasted with a fast snare drum beat.  Droning background sound and deeper organ notes slowly build up until the drone takes over, morphing into an abrasive sky-scraping that fades into a cooler, calmer sustained tone.

Empty, hollow space gives way to restless, constant piano runs on “I Want George Soros”, as additional elongated synths and foreboding lower notes creep in, ratcheting up the tension.  A fiery guitar line sears across the sonic panorama and mixes with two guitar lines and an occasional beat.  All the sounds finally condense into a traditional song structure with cymbal crash and wordless, haunting vocals that float over the song in a sustained loop.  The tempo speeds up, rich and propulsive with added sounds including bright, perky keyboard notes and grimy, low-end distortion.

Reverberating piano lines, slowly pulled strings, and a fluttering beat run through “War is Kind” whose lyrics are from the classic Stephen Crane poem (The complete text can be found at  Amid the ambient atmosphere, a distorted girl’s voice reads through the lines, intoning the words “souls”, “fight”, “killing”, “do not weep”, and most chillingly of all “…a field where a thousand corpses lie.”  At the very end of the song, slowly chanting male vocals and a soaring female singer join the fray.

“The Constant” wavers with needling, but sustained synth notes that sound like buzzing orchestral strings warming up.  A drawn-out, deep spacey vibe, brassy guitar line, glitchy beat, and cymbal tap fill out the song.  This time there are male talking vocals iterating “Time shall not weigh his wings / and he shall discover / in … the whole wide world again / such a constant lover.”  The buzzing sound intensifies until wordless, placid female vocals float by.

The last number, “Prendre Son Temps”, is long at over 12 minutes, and it does take its time with a droning buzz, light piano notes, and a calmly clacking beat.  The backdrop once again is set in deep space as chiming guitar lines and dawning synth notes materialize.  Whispered robotic words come through like a lost transmission and the ambience builds to a louder, fiery, descending guitar frisson.  The song fades away around the 10-minute mark, but then emerges once more with a fast electronica beat, spacey synths, and crackling static…