American Male Delivers Indie House/Dance EP “Now You Know”, Offers Musical Tale of Self-Discovery
Genre-bending producer Zach Janicello has returned with his latest project under the name American Male, a six track EP entitled “Now You Know,” out now. Described as a “left-field indie project,” the songs traverse themes of loss, subsequent growth, and change both lyrically and sonically. Produced alongside Saint Pressure, Janicello’s collaborator of 20 years, the EP is a vessel of self-discovery, bringing the listener through the various musical inspirations of the pair. Alternative hip-hop, dance, indie house, and R&B influence seamlessly flow together, making for a sound that is intimate and raw but also makes you want to move.
Based in Nashville, American Male is Janicello’s response to the evolution of his twenties, releasing on his 33rd birthday. The decision is a nod to his former life as a Christian minister, an “ironic reference” to his “Jesus year.” As the songs explore heartache and angst, they also tap into the euphoria that comes with new beginnings, and freedom from a dogmatic past. Janicello shares, “The darker moments are contained within brighter themes of self-discovery, wisdom gained through experience, leaving behind old ways of living, and radical self-acceptance of who you are becoming. Like most of life, it’s a balance of light and dark.” Synths, drum machines, Janicello’s vocals, and sampled voices and choirs from the gospel tracks of his youth meld together for a truly immersive listen.
“Amalfi” opens the EP with pitched Italian samples, instantly transporting the listener into the moody, electronic world that is American Male. It pairs well with playful, boom-bap beats like “Gelato.” Darker tracks like “Bodybag,” made for long drives at night, contrast well with the dance synths in “Now I Know Less” that could be likened to Fred Again. Closing track “Everything’s Alive” finds Janicello yelling “Oh shit/ I feel like a god right now,” a full circle sentiment offered for the perfect sense of finality.
Standout song “Bounce It” is favorite for both Janicello and Saint Pressure, which features an infectious dance beat. The track got its title from the phrase “just bounce it,” used in production when one needs to export and finish a song. Janicello shares, “The rest of the lyrics were built off of that premise. Sometimes you should stop thinking and just make something happen. Less processing, more execution.”
“Now You Know” as a whole allows listeners to explore their own life changes through energetic beats, finding joy in the unknown. It isn’t simply a rejection of the past lifestyle that Janicello once lived, but an exploration of how it feels to leave it behind for an exciting, tumultuous reality – and dance through it anyway.
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