album review: fear and loathing in las flores

Written by Allison Nakamoto

Tomorrow’s Tessellations is the up and coming solo project of IE-based musician Tino Venti. Earlier this year, he released a self-titled debut album that held obvious influences from The Strokes, Mac Demarco, and The Velvet Underground. Now, with his second full-length studio album, Fear and Loathing in Las Flores, Venti steps up his artistic game as he comes into his own musical style and breaks outside of his own comfort zone, experimenting with atmospheric tones, synth heavy production, and playful melodies. With its ample twenty tracks, the album pulls the listener through “the last summer of their youth,” as advertised by Venti on his Twitter (@tino_venti) before the album was released.

The album starts out with “Chapter 1: This Summer (Intro),” an ethereal instrumental piece that beautifully opens up the storyline and sets the tone for what you are about to hear during the rest of the album. Along with a calming synth and string section, you can hear the sound of ocean waves as they hit the sand. Both calming and anticipation setting, this song puts you in that first day of summer mindset. The track ends with the crackling of a beach bonfire, which fades perfectly into the beginning of the second track, “Prime.”

The fourth track on the album, “Chapter 2: Public Transport (Interlude)” puts you in a subway seat, rocking you back and forth with the smooth sounds of a piano. The chords give you a sense of calm, as if you’re sitting in an empty subway car listening to music through your headphones. As the song ends, you’re left with a sense of peace and serenity. After “Chapter 2” comes “Nostalgia”, upbeat and full of energy. Listening to the same chords just played on piano in “Chapter 2”, now played on guitar, gives the song a sense of nostalgia as the title suggests. The lyrics hint at nostalgia as well, as Venti reflects on the memories of his high school years and his own coming-of-age.

Showing off Venti’s diverse musical talent, “Song for the Sun” is unlike any other song he has released. With its slower pace and skillful vocal harmonies, this romantic ballad obviously stands out amongst the other songs in the album. “Song for the Sun is the most innocent of summer love songs,” Venti told our ALTANGELES team. “It’s the feeling of such a deep brightness that you can find light anywhere. It’s got a bright synth pad underneath a soothing acoustic guitar and is the first Tomorrow’s Tessellations tune to dabble in three part vocal harmonies.” The song ends in a musical coda, wrapping up the song beautifully before fading into another instrumental piece titled “Song for the Stars.”

“Ce Sentiment D’été” combines a jazzy guitar sound with a driving beat and spacey synth to create the perfect backdrop to lyrics about the ups and downs of a summer relationship and how things can change when faced with reality. It’s almost as if the smooth and playful guitar mimics the naivety of a carefree, summer love while the beat keeps your feet on the ground. The title of the song itself is inspired by Jonathan Richman, meaning “This Summer Feeling” in French.

“Last Summer Interlude (outro)” brings the album closure, bringing back chords that are reminiscent to the second track on the album, “Prime.” With bird chirps layered over a slide guitar effect, this calming energy creates a closure leaving you to reflect on your own summer experiences.

As for the album cover, it is a simple yet beautiful blue sky with clouds with a surrounding light blue border. “The sky shown on the cover was taken at Las Flores Park, which many of the memories founds within the songs took place there. It is also found in the title of the album,” said Venti to the ALTANGELES team. “The cover and the title were very symbolic for me.” The name also means fear and loathing in the flowers, which in itself includes beautiful imagery that can perfectly summarize the range of feelings felt while listening to this album.

Overall, Venti accomplished his goal of creating a scene of youthful summer loving, losing, and feeling. When listening to this album, each song flows so smoothly into one another and you truly are taken through the storyline of Venti’s memories.

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