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Tredici Bacci throws off the restraints on their Italian soundtrack with roots in the art of absurdity in the latest album, “Brave New World.” Composer Simon Hanes is at a turning point in his life, and uses the album as a canvas for a wide range of emotions., It’s a wildly entertaining and deeply personal journey that we are privy to witness.

Founded in 2013, Tredici Bacci made a name for themselves with live shows that were joyous, silly, and full of emotional depth. Their music, initially inspired by Italian film soundtracks, used a rich tapestry of instruments to capture the essence of those scores. After years of success with this sound, Tredici Bacci is embarking on a new chapter with “Brave New World,” a wilder and more absurdist album that reflects their growth as a group. 

Fans of Tredici Bacci’s previous works, known for their sweet melodies and soaring orchestrations, might be surprised by “Brave New World.” This album dives headfirst into a grittier, more chaotic soundscape. Influences like frenetic British progressive rock and the unbridled weirdness of Frank Zappa are evident throughout. Tracks like “Hitchcock” showcase this newfound absurdity with a surreal country romp, while “Smash Ennio” feels like a playful rebellion against their past. 

Hanes expands the sonic palette with a 25-person ensemble, incorporating instruments like the contrabass clarinet, theremin, and a full choir. This allows each track to morph and twist into a unique character. Making it possible to create songs like “Future Is Forever,” which becomes an ironic anthem with its bombastic sounds, or “Galaxia,” a track that has the power to evoke the vastness of space with its mystical undertones. 

Despite the chaotic nature of the music, “Brave New World” is a deeply personal album. Hanes lays bare his emotions throughout, exploring anger, silliness, joy, and the sheer absurdity of life. This vulnerability extends to the entire ensemble. Their long history of playing together imbues the album with a sense of community and shared experience. The musicians embrace the new direction, infusing the complex arrangements with their signature blend of lightness, humor, and darkness. 

“Brave New World” is a bold and exhilarating venture for Tredici Bacci. It’s an album that rewards adventurous listeners with its genre-bending soundscapes and emotionally resonant core. If you’re looking for something familiar and predictable, look elsewhere. But if you’re open to a wild, unpredictable ride through a composer’s soul, then “Brave New World” is a must-listen.

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