Italian composer, artist and pianist Federico Albanese today announces his signing to Mercury KX. Joining artists at the forefront of contemporary music, including Anoushka Shankar, Ólafur Arnalds and Keaton Henson, Albanese also releases his new track ‘The Lantern’, which will feature on the new compilation album ‘FLOW’ – a celebration of three years since the launch of Mercury KX.
‘The Lantern’ is the third single to be released from ‘FLOW’, alongside ‘September’ from the recently signed Isobel Waller Bridge and ‘Blank Space (New York Recordings)’ from friend of the label, Josin.
Speaking of the signing, Albanese says, “I probably belonged on the label way before I officially signed with them. It’s amazing. It’s like being part of a family.”
Mercury KX Co-label manager Cerys Weetch says, “We are delighted to have friend of the label Federico join our community of artists. His vibrant and warm personality brings people together and he embraces the idea of “family” like no one else – which is why I was so overwhelmed when he wrote ‘The Lantern’ especially for FLOW.”
Albanese’s cinematic new track ‘The Lantern’ seamlessly blends contemporary classical, pop, and electronic ambience which exudes an airy, meditative beauty. Where many musicians turn to seismic personal events for inspiration, for Albanese inspiration originates from anything playing on his mind: an image perhaps, an experience, a feeling. ‘The Lantern’ was written following Saint Martin’s day in Germany, a celebratory day on which families make and decorate lanterns, before carrying their candle-lit creations on a ritualistic procession along the street then congregating at a bonfire to sing.
Albanese says, “There’s something extremely beautiful about it. It’s dark, with just the light from the lanterns, and some people were even hanging bells and little pieces of wood, so there was a strange kind of musical background as well. I kept thinking about this moment, then I said, ‘Ok, let’s write a song about it’, because that’s what I do when I have something in my head. So I sat down at the piano, and I started writing this song with a feeling of walking in procession with gentle, delicate melodies – like a lullaby.”
Its fragile minimalism, with hypnotic flowing piano and soft synths, captures perfectly that bewitching nocturnal atmosphere – an example of how Albanese’s music is so cinematic.
Born in Italy in 1982, Albanese was just two years old when a local music store owner told his mother that her son had a gift for music. “Give him a musical education”, the man said, “and he will excel”. Albanese’s mother duly obliged, taking her son for piano lessons in Milan from the age of six, every day after school and every Sunday to watch the weekly rehearsals of the city’s orchestra.
Many years later, in 2014, that the Italian composer would release his debut album as a solo pianist (‘The Houseboat’ and ‘The Moon’). Three gorgeous albums later, and Albanese has signed to Mercury KX, Decca’s multi-disciplinary imprint devoted to genre-defying composers and innovative artists.
It’s the perfect fit, not least because Albanese had already performed with several of the acts on the Mercury KX roster including Lambert, Sophie Hutchings and Ólafur Arnalds, with whom he played one of the first performances of his solo-piano career.
While the world becomes ever noisier, Albanese’s evocative music creates a much-needed space to listen and be peaceful. Next on Albanese’s agenda is the release of a new album, due for release on Mercury KX in 2021.
Federico Albanese’s track ‘The Lantern’ is out now on Mercury KX.