Vocalist Olivia Foschi tells in the notes for her self-released debut album Perennial Dreamer that “The record is supposed to take you to a comfortable, cozy place.” Her intent is to make a homogenous record with the tracks kindling a single theme, illuminating the sacred place inside people where passions are fostered.
Foschi’s alto register is reminiscent of Dolores O’Riordan from The Cranberries. The two singers share a similar style in the way they refract syllables and weld a soaring resonance. Supported by harmonica player Gregoire Maret in “Here’s that Rainy Day” and “Everything Happens to Me”, Foschi improvises on the vocal melodies following an internal rhythm autonomous from the main tempo. The lightweight texture of her timbres in “I Adore You” show her vocals taking flight here and there with a Fred Astaire flare, advancing into shots of scat improvising dotting “Disillusionment” as the twinkling of Miki Hayama’s keys contour her verses.
The balmy Acapulco ambience of “Everything Happens to Me” is bolstered by the flutter of the harmonica and the breezy stride of the keys. The slumbering feel of the keys fanning “Daydream” is ornamented by colorful sprigs furnished by Stacy Dillard’s tenor saxophone and buttress Foschi’s vocals as she proclaims, “Time doesn’t have to be on my side / You shadow still echoing dormant in me.”
There’s a cocktail-pop vibrancy in David Rosenthal’s guitar chords traipsing across “Alone Together” and jazz-inscribed agility in the freestyle phrasing of Hayama’s keys while Foschi’s vocal caresses lift “Legend of the Purple Valley” to a lover’s serenade. The track is composed by pianist Hiromi and features lyrics penned by Foschi as she declares, “I can see the moon as I wait for you… whispering your absence.” The guitar solo ignites passion in the track feathered by flickering synth effects producing throngs of sonic dewdrops.
Foschi’s delivery of the Italian folk song “A Gramadora” has a gorgeous lullaby resonance as Cory Pesaturo’s accordion trellises her vocals in flowery finery. The catchy flounce of her vocals in “No Moon at All” have an Acapulco touch, and the lounging strokes of the guitar in “My Ideal” reinforce the dreamy tone of Foschi’s vocals, which suspend an ethereal quality in the Italian love song “Donna” vaulted by the ruffled trimmings of the accordion.
Foschi’s performance of the Italian standards are perfection, and her visceral simpatico with ballads exhibit a natural fluency. Her debut album Perennial Dreamer is a portrait of love, both lost and waiting for with an unfaltering passion. Her voice is a balm on broken hearts and her music is an elixir for the ailment.
Olivia Foschi – vocals, Miki Hayama – keyboards, Michael Olatuja – bass, David Rosenthal – guitar, Ulysses Owens Jr. – drums; special guests: Gregoire Maret – harmonica, Mike Cottone – flugelhorn, Stacy Dillard – tenor saxophone, Cory Pesaturo – accordion
Here’s That Rainy Day, I Adore You, Disillusionment, Everything Happens to Me, Daydream, Alone Together, Bridge, Legend of the Purple Valley, A Gramadora, No Moon at All, My Ideal, Donna, Secrecy and Lies