A Few Minutes with… Joe Defelice and his Debut EP “Outside Looking In.”
GLENS FALLS – On October 18th, a veteran of the local upstate music scene, Joe DeFelice, released his debut EP, Outside Looking In. Throughout the album, DeFelice explores various facets of love; filling sonic textures with feelings of happiness and sorrow. This duality that love encompasses, in this listener’s view, is the main thematic “string” tying this album together.
The first and title track of the record, “Outside Looking In,” features an arrangement with a steady progression of energy. It’s not long before an electric guitar riff enters, along with the drums, and we’re off to the races. While the melody is fairly straightforward, this arrangement is a great introduction into DeFelice’s style of songwriting.
What I enjoy about the second track “Geraldine,” is not only the upbeat nature of the song, but also the vocal register with which Joe sings. It is in this tune that we get a sense of the lower parts of his register. The guitar solo was also a nice addition to this track. Though the title track initially demonstrates his ability to arrange a song, the next track, “My Island,” is an even better example.
This song, which starts off with a drum fill, ebbs and flows throughout. During the verses, listeners get a more stripped back sounding piece, while the choruses and interlude feature a much bigger sound, with tons of depth and layers. It’s worth noting that tracks four and five, “Be With Me” and “We Fell Apart,” respectively, are completely opposite in feel and meaning. The former involves a re-affirmation and appreciation of love between two people; a story of a love that builds and has not withered, while the latter details the ending of a relationship.
While all the songs up to this point have been in the first-person narrative, this author finds it intriguing that DeFelice’s closing track, “She,” is told in the third person. Though it may not be directly related to love, it’s easy to see where these connections can be found. The piano – frankly all of the instrumentation, but the piano, especially – drive forward a tune that outlines a woman taking stock of her surroundings and lot in life. It is clear she wants out of these circumstances, albeit the fact a path forward might not yet exist. Though it’s indeed a somber tune, it serves the album well in its closing position, as it might inspire some reflection on one’s life based sheerly on the content of the lyrics, alone.
Though the album is fairly straightforward, it is an enjoyable and accessible experience to folks who listen to various types of genres, such as: indie, folk, and rock. Be sure to check out his new release by going to any major online distributor of music: Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon, and continue reading on for a brief chat I had with Joe over the past weekend!
Lucas Garrett: Hello, Joe! Thanks for taking the time to sit down and chat for a bit! Though our paths never fully crossed, I’ve known of you from this area for quite some time. How does it feel to release your debut EP? Tell us about the process of recording and releasing it, and what that’s been like for you.
Joe DeFelice: Yes, our paths haven’t crossed but we are part of the same great scene! It feels great! I’ve only released singles in the past, and have been wanting to make a longer offering for a long time. The pandemic slowed everyone down and allowed this to happen. Initially, David Rockower and I started this project slightly pre-pandemic. I initially wanted to write for and produce someone else, or start a label, but it morphed into a project for me. Dave co-wrote a few tracks and produced and played on them. Later we brought in Travis Gray to assist. Bringing in Travis made it even more fun and gave us something to focus on during the lockdown. Travis produced and played on most of the EP, and added some stellar harmonies and guitars in spots.
LG: Who would you say are your main creative influences?
JD: My influences vary from the Beatles, REM, Ryan Adams, Richard Thompson, Soundgarden, and Sonic Youth.
LG: With a fresh ep to promote, what are your plans going forward? Do you plan on showcasing these songs as they are heard on the record?
JD: I am looking forward to booking some shows to promote the EP. Maybe a little east coast singer/songwriter tour. I’ll probably do a mix of full band shows and solo.
LG: Lastly, do you have anything you’d like to elaborate on or promote that we may have missed? The proverbial floor is yours!
JD: A few of these tunes I’d had the bones of for a few years but never developed. “She” was a song that I’ve tried to record a few times but could never quite get it right until now. I’m happy with this final version. Our goal is to still try and start a label to assist in getting our projects and other’s projects out there.
LG: Thanks again for your time and good luck with your debut release, Joe!
JD: Thank you for the questions, and taking the time to reach out to me. I hope we can meet and talk someday in person!
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