Monday, January 7, 2013
Artist Of The Day: Chris Commisso
For the unitiated, Chris Commisso is a pianist, singer-songwriter and pop powerhouse rolled into one irresistible ball of fun. According to his YouTube page, though, the guy has been through some tough times (including "a struggle with severe social phobia/anxiety disorder"), and his catchy tunes reflect a surprisingly complex and mature perspective. Look no further than his cover of Carly Rae Jepsen's "This Kiss" which trades in the unabashed euphoria of the source material for a more melancholy pining; Commisso's delicate voice wrings an essay's worth of subtext out of the couplet, "Some things so sentimental / You make so detrimental." As evidenced by his prolific and diverse body of work, his songwriting's a potent combination of both of those qualities.
Commisso also writes plenty of original songs, and this month he releases his first LP The Piano Shack, available for FREE for a limited time on Bandcamp. The 20-track release compiles almost all of his work from the past few years, genre-hopping from ballads (the beautifully personal title track) to upbeat piano pop (the charmingly goofy "Old Guitar"--listen to the end to hear Commisso's take on opera), retro-funk (the deliciously snarky "Copycat") and just about everything in between ("Beautiful Bridesmaid," a compelling marriage of hip-hop beats and a haunting piano line, is the standout at the moment). Despite its patchwork qualities, it feels remarkably cohesive, thanks in no small part to how good Commisso is in it throughout, playing every role he gets with the enthusiasm of the nerdiest, happiest puppy ever.
If you're still hungry for more material, Chris' YouTube page is rife with original songs, covers and comedy sketches. Thankfully, it looks like in his battle with his personal struggles, he's come out unqualifiably victorious--and now that he's on the other side, he's got plenty to share with the rest of us.