Fil Bo Riva – Beautiful Sadness

The debut effort from the Italian born, Dublin raised, Berlin resident, is a passionate collection of intense indie rock ballads, seasoned with the flair of classic cinema for a truly enticing experience.

Released March 22nd, 2019, NEUBAU Music.

Much like a movie from the period of film noir, ‘Beautiful Sadness’ is finely tuned with every minute detail meticulously planned out, with Fil Bo Riva accepting nothing short of perfection from themselves. Love, rather undeniably is the focal point of ‘Beautiful Sadness’, focusing much more on the positive aspects, even while the problematic sides occasionally creep in, much like in any relationship.

The moments of love and unfiltered joy are littered throughout ‘Beautiful Sadness’, bringing an abundance of sing along anthems, radio hits and soon to be fan favourites to the table, creating a debut that lusts after the idea of longevity over any immediate gratification, and does so strongly. An album that can stand the test of time seems like an obvious for any artist, yet Fil Bo Riva have ensured with every track on their debut, that this would never have been left to chance.

‘Beautiful Sadness’ begins with the introduction of ‘Sadness’, a penultimate moment, boiling over with the feeling of betrayal and (well) sadness, as one lover has been left behind to wallow in pain once the othr has seemingly abandoned them. These intense first moments remain as strong throughout, immediately trickling into ‘Time Is Your Gun’, the introduction to the uplifting side of the album, bursting with charisma and charm, reaching out for joyous chants and roaring sing alongs.

Similarly on ‘Go Rilla’ and ‘Head Sonata’, this stadium sized readiness is immediately noticeable, taking sweeping guitar riffs and sweaty stomping, alongside unstoppable dancing to new levels, all while attaining enough familiarity for the oldest of indie rock/pop fans to declare themselves as lovers of Fil Bo Riva. ‘Go Rilla’ takes the art of ready made radio hit to its finest point, proudly presenting its approachability to indie rock in the best way possible, with a simply put, fucking bizarre music video. While ‘Head Sonata’ welcomes in Fil Bo Riva’s indie rock prowess in sublime fashion, readying stadiums all over Europe to prepare for their roofs to be blown off.

Once the moments of thousands of voices uniting in lyrical unison pass, ‘Beautiful Sadness’ continues on with added flare and the tenacity to turn every moment on the album into a piece of art.

‘Baby Behave’ ties in with the illustrious nature of intro ‘Sadness’, asking why their partner is so in love with them “some times I wonder why you feel so much even a blind man would see this love, I kiss your lips we don’t agree, that I just said something wrong”. The line “did I just say something wrong?” repeats until a thunderous drum brings upon a steady harmony of dripping guitar with emphatic croons of “Baby Behave”, roaring ferociously before album stand out ‘Head Sonata’ comes swaggering in.

Then followed by ‘Is It Love?’, the image of a cinematic, piano lead serenade, amplified by a performance of dancers around an idyllic water feature is as fine pointed a moment as you’ll get on ‘Beautiful Sadness’. The sense of familiarity on ‘Is It Love?’ is so apparent that you’d be lying if the first thought in your head wasn’t to sing along, and flick water into the air from that imaginary fountain, while you scoot along in front of your lover, as if ‘Beautiful Sadness’ was actually your own romantic cinematic moment.

This joyous familiarity and intensity can be found on every inch of this album, from the soaring choruses of ‘Blindmaker’ to the Italian lyricism on ‘L’impossible”s choruses. Fil Bo Riva makes no attempt to over complicate ‘Beautiful Sadness’, nor simplifu it, instead unifying his many influences and the love of his heritage to piece together a body of work, that not only stands out now as an intricate collection of personal stories that have been made to be shared, but surely will still stand out in many years to come.

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