Stereo Dasein
Gay Angel - Places I'll Eat, People I'll Meet (CD)

Gay Angel - Places I'll Eat, People I'll Meet (CD)


This is without doubt one of the most unusual releases I have picked up from the review pile. Gay Angel was started by one guy called Jake Bellissimo but he is aided along the way by 26 other people on additional vocals and on all sorts of instruments including oboe, trombone, harp, clarinet and viola. Not sure when I last reviewed anything with that combination of instruments. There is a bit of a story behind this too. Jake comes from Rochester in New York and created Gay Angel having been sacked from his job writing musicals. What he has put together here is well-crafted but unusual and comes across like a bizarre, warped musical with all sorts of interesting and predominantly sad stories told along the way. You can even notice the influence of film in "Glory Days" as the light strums 30 seconds into the song conjure up a scene with the main character waking from a dream. The highlights for me are "I'm Artificial" which is a kind of an offbeat love song, and "Dear God" which is a sad song where the protagonist questions everything God has let happen and asks him to leave his life. "Nobody Knows" also takes the plaudits for rhyming "platonic" with "stereophonic". Also of note is the last song on here which was originally written in the 1920s by his great grandfather and his wife who tried to sell the song to various companies without success. I love that he has revitalised the song and brought it to life almost a century later. Don't ask me to tell you what this sounds like as I can't think of anything I've heard of this ilk lately. There is a classical influence along the way as well as warped, offbeat pop. Give this a go if you're after something different.
- Collective Zine

Released 28 July 2014

All music is written and composed by Gay Angel aka Jake Bellissimo 
Production and mastering by Borja Rojo 
Artwork by Séamus Gallagher 

Instrumentalists / other Arrangers: 

Daniel Sunshine: Drumset (Tracks 1/3/4/7/9) 
Sean Lowery: Drumset (Tracks 5/8) 
Wendy Eisenberg: Electric Guitar (Tracks 3/4/5/8) & Banjo (Track 3) 
Julia Egan: Acoustic Guitar (Tracks 3/4/5) 
Eli Greenhoe: Acoustic Guitar (Track 1) 
Tahlia Cott: Fiddle (Track 1) 
Alessandro Mondelli: Fiddle (Track 3), Violin (Tracks 3/4/5/8/9) 
Arjun Baxter: Electric Bass (Tracks 5/8) 
Ryder Eaton: Acoustic Bass (Tracks 7/9), Electric Bass (Tracks 1/3/4) 
Luke Norris: Saxophone (Tracks 1/3/7/9) 
Matt Kowalski: Trombone (Track 1/3/8) 
Sam Grosby: Backing Vocals (Tracks 1/3) 
Rose Hegele: Backing Vocals (Tracks 7/9) 
Alex Ishov: Flute (Track 8) 
Daniel Mills: Clarinet (Tracks 1/3/8) 
Andrew Blanke: Oboe (Tracks 1/3/8) 
Katelyn Croft: Harp (Track 6) 
The Astutia Saxophone Quartet (consisting of: Lauritz Eller, Khan Nguyen, Drew Viavattine & Annie Sawamura): Tracks 2 & 6 
Keegan Donlon: Viola (Track 1) 
Calvin Langman: Cello (Track 9) 
Elly Higgins: Trumpet (Tracks 3/5/8) 
Jenny Ji: Piano (Track 4) 
Kevin Wang: Piano (Track 9) 

Track 9 written by Jake Bellissimo's great-grandfather Bill Vono, re-harmonized about 80 years later by him (Jake Bellissimo), based off a demo he inherited 

Jake Bellissimo wrote, recorded, and arranged the songs, and did Viola (Tracks 1/7), Acoustic Guitar (Tracks 3/4/5/8/9), Vocals (Every Song), Backup Vocals (Tracks 7/9) & Piano (Track 7)

Listen & Download: