Now here’s a refreshing album! The world is full of great music, tracking it down is the difficult part and Florida based Galia Social are a prime example. They’ve been together for circa ten years, releasing their debut album in January 2020, shortly before the planet was plunged into a ‘no go’ area. So a year-and-a-half later, TPA are pleased to bring Rise to your attention.
Primarily, Galia Social are a duo consisting of guitarist/vocalist Christian Logaglio and drummer Colby Peters, however, don’t let the lack of numbers fool you into thinking this is some sort of stripped down affair, far from it. Galia Social is a band in the truest sense and Rise is a band album full of vibrant, breezy, classy tracks, all brimming with great music and delivered with energy, style and great panache.
Rise is a concept album to boot, with the lyrical content “…about an individual who rises to power in almost cult-like circumstances”. In an interview with Rolling Stone India, Christian Logaglio stated that they came up with the album concept shortly before Donald Trump was elected US president in 2017 and maintains that Rise does not necessarily draw from political history alone and doesn’t need to be viewed through that lens.
Before looking at Rise, let’s backtrack to 2014 and the release of the band’s debut EP Instrumentals. Much of course is in the title, but certainly a great deal of what we find on Rise is evident on Instrumentals. The three track EP showcases the busy but varied guitar work of Christian Logaglio which, refreshingly, is not plagued with overdriven fingerboard gymnastics, but rather contains three well constructed tunes covering a number of contrasting styles. The empathy between Logaglio and Peters is perceptible even at this stage. The EP is well worth checking out and as a side, the last track reminded me of some of Steve Morse’s solo work.
Although Rise incorporates much of Logaglio and Peters’ intricate and dexterous interactions, it heavily features vocals. That said, the album opens with the wonderful, ambient jazz infused Open. And what a joyous two minutes of music it is too.
I must admit, on the first listen through I did fear that we might swiftly move into some sort of shredfest. On the contrary, track two is stylish song, incorporating pop sensibilities, a strong vocal melody and neatly underpinned with resonant backing vocals. And this winning formula continues into the next two tracks, Colors and the wonderfully dynamic Aim.
Galia Social are a tricky one to pigeonhole, the music is certainly accessible and the guys have been crafty, ensuring that their obvious skills don’t get in the way of the music. So they’ve incorporated their chops within the songs, bringing in elements from jazz, funk and fusion into the mix. On top of this there’s a subtle backdrop of rich keyboard sounds, which greatly adds to the palette and keeps the listener interested throughout. A great example of this would be Victory which appears towards the end of the album. The band allow themselves the luxury of stretching out here too.
Remiss of me, and a little late, but a mention to Colby Peters who impresses throughout as he drives and punctuates the music, his energy and understanding of just what’s needed across the album is truly inspired. Together Messrs Logaglio and Peters have come up with an album that works on many levels. It’s quite an intense listen, however the excellent production values ensure an enjoyable experience.
Galia Social have produced videos for each of the tracks, which can be located in the YouTube link below, plus there are plans to release a continuous 40+ minute version of the album. Having seen a preview, I can say it definitely works, especially as the tracks neatly segue into each other and the album as a whole does feel like a continuous piece.
Rise is apparently the first instalment of a trilogy of albums, and although no specifics are available I’d be interested to see where this project goes from here…
01. Open (1:50)
02. Follow (5:10)
03. Colors (5:21)
04. Aim (7:11)
05. Fire (5:35)
06. Victory (6:59)
07. Rise (9:14)
Total Time – 41:20
Christian Logaglio – Guitar, Bass, Vocal
Colby Peters – Drums
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: U.S.A.
Date of Release: 20th January 2020
Galia Social – Facebook | Bandcamp | YouTube | Twitter