Scary Haha is the new record by electronic artist Ciao! based in New York. He had previously released the fiery single Vampire from the album. Twenty percent of gross streaming/sales will be donated to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. A craftsman, Ciao! has chosen to follow his musical intuition eschewing commercial appeal for artistry and expression.
The album describes the musical journey of cancer, dealing with ailment, treatment, recuperation, and vulnerability, all entwined with torment, love, dread, and trust. As soon as Ciao! was able to get some energy he completed the tracks and started coalescing them into a record. Ciao! uses his unadulterated impulse to sketch this deeply personal musical diary.
The album begins with Vampire. This song is surrounded by wind instruments and pipes in it with vocals that set the aural tone of the album. The lyrics deal with pain with literal and figurative metaphors around it. The musical mood then catches pace with August Repeating which is the sophomore track. There is some eclectic use of electronic production and arrangement which is unorthodox. It manages to create a sense of disarray. We hear very dissonant sonic aspects used to form a moody atmosphere including keys, synths, and bass.
After the craziness, we get Today which is a calm soothing song. With strings and the associated harmonics creating bell-like and drop tones, this is a reflective song noting the slowness of waiting for time Scary Hahato pass. Jarring synths commence the next track A View From #22. Guitar solo with trebly electronic tones and slightly off-tune effect is what we get to hear here. It’s a narrative continuity to the feel established in the previous track. Referring to drips and the medical paraphernalia keeping one alive is the song A Favorite Machine. Jigsaw-like in its musical expression, production, and rhythmic flow.
Percussion begin the title track which is soon followed by harp-like sounds and natural harmonic production elements. The lyrics describe well the progress of the journey of getting better with vivid imagery. Contemplation and moody reflection abound is expressed in Mayday In E Major. Describing staggering through as one gets home from the hospital, this is another glue in the narrative flow of the record. With calmness and wave sound the album concludes with Overtime.
Ciao! manages to channel the genius of artists like Captain Beefheart, the innovative Radiohead, The Cure with genres like RnB, electronic, orchestral, jazz, pop, and world music.
Scary Haha by Ciao! is an avant-pop and experimental electronic pop album which describes the emotional journey of being in the hospital long-term. The moribund feel is present in every track of the album which depicts the feelings and thoughts one is experiencing. It is not merely a journal. It describes individual catastrophe while at the same time affirming and looking at sentiments with festivity when mortality and inability spring to look at us.
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