of the cosmic
There are those for whom the planets suddenly align, and when this magic ends up reaching us we call them stars. We have the impression that it is sudden, but who knows what path they’ve taken to get there? They may have had to go through several lives before arriving in this form.
There is no doubting this has been the case for Deleo and the band’s songwriter and mastermind Denis Navarro. While Deleo’s singer is young, the music sublime and the production as polished as if it dropped from the heavens, behind it all is Denis, who is no Gen Z newcomer. This native of Montpellier in the south of France grew up with Depeche Mode, the Cure, Joy Division and David Bowie – indie music is in his DNA.
But how to explain the grandeur of what they have created? How did this five-member band that has never previously released anything succeed on the first try at the miraculous debut album ?
Listening to it you are carried away by the intelligence of the composition and the lushness of the sound. It acts like a filter that you have never heard before and yet ... with its irresistible melodies and indefinable trace of ethereal sadness, this symbiosis of folk, rock and electro invites you into the tidal flow of life that defines great songs: you don’t discover them, you recognise them. They speak to something already in us. Unresolved.
With the charisma of now silent voices from the past, the talented singer Emy Eris takes up the timeless challenge and wins us over with her fitting vocals, at once familiar yet one of a kind, sometimes smoothly silky, sometimes punchy.
What to say? A fairy must have waved its magic wand over the genesis of Deleo. It was something that had to happen, had to fall to earth. Life accelerates, sometimes things happen quickly. Looking for someone to write the group’s bio, Denis came to me. Short deadlines, lack of availability. “Let’s see if it moves me.” And then the feeling rises.
I listen to the track ‘Unfair’. Wow, it’s big, emotional. The feeling grows. I send a text with a Freudian slip: ‘Happy Denis’ instead of ‘Hello Denis’. Have faith. I call him. “In my opinion, you don’t need to define it as rock or electro, indie or pop, but just say you’re in the universe of music like London Grammar, The xx and Florence and the Machine.”
OK, let’s do it. He sends their 12 tracks. I listen. Ravishing. Dreamlike. 11pm. Almost midnight. I have to hold myself back. I want to call him. During. After. To tell him, “Denis, it’s incredible!”
The next day, heartbreak. Just one listen to the track Cosmic shook up so many things in me – things that renewed the delectable taste for pop that I’d lost ... I don’t tell him most of this when I call.
“Mate, what scope, my whole record collection is in there.” From Audioslave to Taylor Swift. There is even a touch of intoxicating soft club for chilling out from midnight dancefloors. “And I can see yours from here!”
I talk to him about Texas and Archive. He brings up Radiohead, Garbage and the Cranberries. I tell him that his band’s sound is crazy, that it avoids being over the top because “everything flows – you know how to create space to breathe, to vary the atmosphere.” He replies, “We’re lucky, we work with the producer of the first albums of Keane, Dido and Annie Lennox.” This is in fact how Deleo was formed, when Denis hooked up with James Sanger (the artist, producer, arranger and sound engineer with 67 million album sales to his name worldwide). This led to him meeting Emy, Nicolas Gaeremynck (guitar), Romain Viguier (keyboards, bass) and Robin Olivier (drums), whose mix gave rise to this space rocket of sound.
Without us realising it, the bio wrote itself as we talked. I should probably keep it quiet, but you should know that we have something here that the world will covet. Or I should say, treasure. As I said to him, “The only negative point is how are you going to follow up such a strong first album?” First things first: the band is releasing 4 tracks on an EP planned for May 2020 called Unfair. The album will be released in November.
There are those for whom the planets suddenly align. When this magic all at once reaches us, we call them – at the end of the story – stars. And they really are. They shine. But isn’t that also the destiny of all of us who accept the invitation they extend ?