David Vassalotti, “Ines De Castro”

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David Vassalotti is best-known as the guitarist in Merchandise—whose glinting guitar pop earned the Florida act a coveted slot on the roster of 4AD–and, to a lesser degree, his membership in hardcore and noise-rock acts Cult Ritual and Neon Blud. However, Vassalotti’s solo material, especially 2011’s Book of Ghosts full-length on the Vinyl Rites label, has a quiet but fervent following of its own. And Broken Rope, due next month via Wharf Cat, is a highlight of the shadow catalog. “Ines De Castro” is the first song to be shared from the album, on which Vassalotti plays all of the instruments, and it’s a nimble, plaintive pop song, with rigid drum programming softened by an acoustic and electric guitar melange that’s suffused with gossamer beauty. Vassalotti’s vocals, meanwhile, rival Merchandise vocalist Carson Cox’s affected croon in terms of emotive pull, at once strained and hushed like a secret fighting its way out into the world.