Nothing and Everything

Last year I introduced you all to the music of Philip Marino (see post Introducing Philip Marino). During my feature, I talked about his debut album ‘Self Made Man’ and his fan funding project for his follow up album. Unfortunately, Philip was unsuccessful with his goal, but this did not hold him back as he continued to work on his new material. I am happy to say, this is now all finished and he has released his latest offering called ‘Nothing and Everything’.

Before I talk about Philip’s new album, I wanted to know more about how it was put together and what goals he had when he started the writing process. I’m glad to say that Philip was kind enough to give us a look into his world of music. This is what he had to say:

After such an impressive debut release, what were you goals before you started writing the music for the new album ‘Nothing and Everything’?

Thanks for saying that about the first CD. Very kind of you. For this new album, I’ve been writing for quite some time, with no specific goals in mind. Ultimately, what I wanted was to get a set of songs that felt coherent, tonally and lyrically. I wrote other songs in that time that didn’t make the album, but may very well get recorded for a future release. What I wanted this time was something bigger. The first CD is fairly scaled-back, with mainly me on guitar and vocals, and with a few extra bits added here and there by my co-producer David Booth. That was all that initial release needed, in my opinion. In the time since that CD was released, I’ve played live not just as a solo act, but also as a duo and a trio (extra guitars, percussion, and backing vocals). I wanted to capture some of that energy on this new album. In addition to getting that bigger sound, it allowed me to work with a number of close friends who I’ve met over the past few years ‘on the circuit’ here in Essex. That was special for me, to be joined on the songs by such talented friends.

During the process of putting this album together, what were the highs and lows?

Well, I guess one clear low would be that I was unable to make the album in New York with Simone Felice. As you know, Simone’s people contacted me (after soliciting demos from folks on his Facebook page) saying that he’d be interested in producing my next CD. That was amazing and surprising, as I’ve been a fan of Simone (and the Felice Brothers) for years. Unfortunately, the costs were out of my reach at this time, and my Kickstarter campaign failed to reach its goal, so I had to let that opportunity go. That certainly was disheartening. Hopefully, there will be an opportunity in the future to work with Simone. I know that I would benefit from working with someone of his talents, both personally and professionally. A high? Well, I apologize for being repetitive, but for me it was working with friends and having them contribute their talents to many of the songs on the album. Chris Ozzard, Matt Selley, Thom Aston, David Atkins, Lisa Wright, Anna Sauchuk, Rosalind Harniess, Steve Wilson, and Kevin Pearce (the album’s co-producer)… All of them made the album – and my experience of recording it – better.

How did it feel when you heard the final cut of the album?

That’s difficult, because as many of my friends will tell you, I’m fairly hard on myself when it comes to my music. That said, I remember thinking (after listening through the album in its completed, mastered state) that I had accomplished what I was initially after. It is in fact ‘bigger’ than the first CD, and I’m confident that I did the very best I could at the time to make the songs as strong as possible. I think it’s a good album, but that’s not really for me to say. You, and the folks who listen to it, are in a much better position to consider its merits. The thing is, I’m rarely truly satisfied with what I create, and even though it can sometimes grow tiresome to be that way, I think it’s generally okay to be self-critical. It’s helped me to progress and it’s enabled me to be willing to learn from others.

What is your favourite song from this release and why?

Hmm… That’s a tough one. I answered this question last, because I really don’t know how to answer it. Although the songs on my first CD were all personal in nature, I think these songs are even more closely tied to my personal experiences and emotions. The song ‘Away’ is a track that I wrote the day after speaking with my father on Father’s Day when we realized for the first time that we both had lived lives (me, more so than he) of continually chasing something better, or at least what we thought would be better than what we already had. ‘End’ is a song that tries to find hope in the seemingly hopeless, and when I wrote it, I desperately needed to feel hopeful. Those are two that come to mind…

Now the album is released, what are your future goals for your music?

My goals are all focused on one thing: moving forward. I want to continue to write and to keep growing as a writer. I want to keep playing live, but (hopefully) in bigger venues. I hope to have the opportunity to play outside of London and East Anglia, perhaps in support of some better-known acts. Don’t get me wrong, I love playing in this region (especially in London), but there are so many great music towns and venues around this country (and the Continent) that I would love to play someday. I keep trying to get more radio play, and I have had some success with ‘BBC Introducing’ and ‘Amazing Radio’, but hopefully, that aspect of my music will continue to grow. Ultimately, my goal is to make my living from music. Even it’s only ‘just getting by’ or simply ‘paying the bills’, that would be a cool way to go.

Now we’ve heard from Philip and his album ‘Nothing and Everything’ I’ll share my thoughts on it all. When I first got my hands on a copy of the album I was excited to hear how his song writing has grown, especially his lyrical content as this is what stood out for me on his previous release. Well, I was not disappointed as he has created another great collection of songs that showcases his wonderful songwriting talent. I like the detail in his storytelling for each song which takes you on its journey. Personally, I think his lyrical technique has got stronger which just confirms that this is an album that deserves attention.

For me, the biggest improvement on this album is the production value as Philip’s music now sounds clearer giving the listener a true showing of how good his music sounds. This lets you appreciate some really nice guitar work which at times is soothing, as well as giving his music this likeable charm. Its hard not to get pulled into each song when you hear this great combination of Philip’s guitar and his cool old school Americana tone which gives this release an true authentic sound.

This is one of those albums where each song is strong enough to stand out its own, making it difficult to choose my highlights. I would say ‘Away’, ‘Road to Ruin’ and my personal favourite ‘Never Enough’ all stand out as they perfectly showcase what the music by Philip Marino has to offer.

‘Nothing and Everything’ is a must hear collection of songs that needs to be part of your music collection especially is you are a fan of folk/Americana music. You can listen to the album in full by visiting Philip’s Bandcamp page by clicking HERE. If you agree and you like what you are hearing then you can also buy a copy of the album while you are there. Go on, you won’t regret it!

I am glad that Philip is focused on pushing his music to the next level as his music needs to be out there. I am hoping his plans include either an EP or album in the near future. If you want to find out more about Philip Mario and would like to see him live then go check out his website at PhilipMarino.com. You can also say hello to the man himself on his social media sites at Facebook and Twitter, he is a top guy to talk to.

It’s hard for me not to be biased on this review because I am a fan. If you follow me on social media you will see that I am a big supporter of the music by Philip Marino and I am a  strong believer that you should support the music that matters to you. So, if you like what you are hearing/reading then tell the world about the great music by Philip Marino today!