Karl Ficarotta: “Shadow” – oozes intelligent seduction

“Shadow” is further proof that Karl Ficarotta is simply an artistic genius. His raspy, distinct voice paired with his enthralling lyrics lure you in without revealing too much, leaving you craving more. Karl sculpts a sparkling acoustic driven track that’s equal parts morbid, ambling, and luminous. He oozes intelligent seduction. Karl Ficarotta is a singer-songwriter from Somerset who has shared the stage with some artists such as, EMPIRE, Dave McPherson, and Chuck Moseley, among others. He has also toured up and down the country in numerous bands. “Shadow” is a track from his second EP, “Hope”, due out in October. The single is a striking, adept piece made accessible by Karl’s emotive voice, and is the ideal companion for your reflecting headspace.

The music on “Shadow” is a strange one to pin-point. It weaves in and out of a dusty folk ballad to a slow-burning and edgy indie rock anthem, within the strum of four bars. All of this equipped with masterful mixing and sung clearly and intensely by Karl Ficarotta’s perfectly appropriate vocals.

It’s an interesting affair, sure to please those who like to hear cryptically profound lyrics and organic instrumentation, delivered with a pristine output but with enough grit left over to remain authentic. It’s a beautiful blend of acoustic rock and melodic interval that is sure to satisfy any listener who loves to get engaged with everything going on inside passionate music.

“Shadow” is literally the prototypical singer-songwriter song, dark, personal insight, vivid yet strange imagery, and lush but still pointed instrumentation.  The actual sound and atmosphere of the track is reminiscent of his last work, just with more added flourish, and just as enveloping.

It contains every trope you’d expect from this kind of music, and honestly, feels like the product of a truly experienced musician. Karl’s certainly got some things to say, it’s like listening to someone have a personal breakthrough, or recognizing their problems and the hurdles to be faced.

Karl Ficarotta, unwittingly or not, takes his musical cues from his confessional forebears, the legendary 70’s singer-songwriters, his soulful voice a warm and inviting presence that makes his refreshingly modern lyrics and transparent musical sensibilities all the more affecting. Karl soaks up the sounds, smells, experiences and free-floating strangeness of his environment, and revels in its humanity.

There’s no wallowing in self-pity here, instead a determined instinct for self-preservation. His clever, careful balance of sincerity and performativity; his savvy approach to songwriting; his ability to direct and willfully implode or explode his narrative. These qualities sets Karl apart from many of his genre contemporaries.

“Shadow”, and the upcoming album, is the sort of recording that could only come at a certain point in an artistic trajectory, when an artist has already shared some songs and given us a sense of who they are, when they have lived some life and set certain psychological and emotive events in motion. And as a result it is one of the most affecting compositions Karl Ficarotta has given us yet.


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