The Dallas-Based Singer-Songwriter Turns Up The Volume And Finds Inspiration From A Popular Texas Colloquialism On One Of His New LP’s Standout Tracks.
Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.
Nicholas Altobelli — “Bless Yer Heart”
RIYL: putting Sha Sha on the turntable in the morning
What else you should know: As Nicholas Altobelli teased to us via a Q&A a few months ago, he has a brand new album called Technicolor Hearts. And he actually surprise-dropped it last week, so let’s highlight its third track, “Bless Your Heart.”
Altobelli is known for his folk and light rock, but he’s not afraid to take some louder risks — and “Bless Yer Heart,” the title of which stems from a popular Texas colloquialism, is just that.
Recalling Ben Kweller’s solo material and Wowee Zowee-era Pavement, the song was produced by John Dufilho, and it fits well with Dufilho’s numerous projects, namely the Deathray Davies. (McKenzie Smith and Salim Nourallah also worked on the album, the majority of which was tracked at Nourallah’s Pleasantry Lane Studio in Dallas.)
Checking in at a few seconds over three minutes, “Bless Yer Heart” starts off calm and warm, and then the distortion pedal is stomped on when the chorus comes around. Still, Altobelli keeps control of his voice, not wavering into screaming or off-pitch, but simply raising his voice over the loudness.
Altobelli wrote the songs here while playing guitars and keys, but Dufilho does a lot of the instrumental work here. Playing guitars, keyboards, piano, bass, drums and percussion on most of the album, the mild-mannered and prolific Dufilho’s stamp is all over this LP.
Of course, Altobelli is fairly prolific himself. But, as already noted and as this song shows, he’s also increasingly expanding his sound. If you’re new to his music, Technicolor Hearts is a strong introduction to what he’s done — but, more importantly, an exciting look at what he is moving towards in the future.
Cover photo by Ashley Gongora.