As one of The Felice Brothers, Ian Felice has been the haunting, ragged and cosmic voice behind a rich discography of Americana music that straddles the contemporary and the archaic, with their lived-in sound and free-wheelin’ and free-spirited lyricism. Now Felice has followed in the steps of brother Simone (who left the band fairly early on) and released his debut solo album.
In The Kingdom of Dreams is immediately identifiable as the work of a Felice but there is relatively little of the rabble-rousing folk music of the band of brothers here. Felice opts for a fairly stark musical backing for his autobiographical songs that cast an eye over modern life, both in the physical and metaphysical realms. There is still a fantastical quality to Felice’s words, even when pared back to this more fragile form. Dreams, graves, nature, medication and cheerleaders in thunderstorms populate his songs as he explores the forgotten dreams of America and his own childhood flashbacks, patched together in a collage of images and memories.
Drums come and go on this wonderful debut but it’s mainly an acoustic affair where Felice’s words hold court and and we’re reminded how integral and central his songwriting is to The Felice Brothers.