“Italy was an epiphany. My travels, the art, architecture, food, the wonderful people, and the way they revered their artists were eye-opening. Once Italy shut down I was longing to get back but also wanted to give something back — to show my gratitude for relighting the creative fires within and for making me feel at home.”
– Louis Emory
Frontman Louis Emory is a singer/songwriter based in Troy, New York – just an hour north of Woodstock, where The Band – one of his many classic rock influences – wrote their debut album, Music from Big Pink. More than fifty years later, Emory would have never imagined he’d be working on his debut EP with one of the album’s engineers, renowned producer, audio engineer and mixer Shelly Yakus.
With a small collective of New York musicians — The Reckless Few — the crew fused their individual sounds to deliver Love Italy, their six-track project EP; an ode to a place that reignited Emory’s creative flame, released on Friday, October 21.
Composed of multi-instrumentalists Bob Boyer and Tim Lynch (The Recording Company) — the gifted members of this non-traditional band each played an integral part in bringing the Love Italy songs to life in the studio. Rounding out the EP, Yakus polished and co-mixed the tracks.
Having grown up in a quintessential close-knit Italian-American household, Emory had an innate appreciation for and connection to Italy through the stories and recipes that were passed down. After dreaming about visiting the country for many years, Emory was finally able to in 2017. This first trip ignited a deep passion for Italian history and culture, and he began reading book after book about the Renaissance, art, architecture, the Medici, and the history of Florence, Venice, and Rome.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, he saw from afar how bad Italy was hit, causing the Italian economy’s biggest industry, tourism, to shut down. Just like the United States, Emory grieved for Italy, saddened by the videos of its citizens in lockdown and news of so many lives lost. It was during this time that he first began writing about it, not yet planning to create an entire EP, but simply wanting to share his admiration and love for the country with its rich history and welcoming people.
Ahead of Love Italy, Louis Emory and The Reckless Few released two singles along with music videos — “Florence in the Fall” and “Roma.” A dreamy track, inspired by seasonal vibrations and a longing to be back in Florence, Emory wrote “Florence in the Fall” with a down-home honesty about his feelings in that specific moment: “I was reminiscing about our trips, the piazzas, and the hope that one day my wife and I might call Florence home,” he shares. The album’s second single “Roma,” a stripped-down groove that gives Dylan-esque vibes, stems from the energy and ambiance the city has. “There’s something about walking the ancient streets layered with centuries of history, interwoven with a vibrant, modern city,” Emory discloses. “I wanted to try to capture that feeling.”
Although not a proper single from Love Italy, the first song that came about was “Firenze.” Emory felt extremely inspired by Cosimo de’ Medici’s life and the effect he had on Western civilization. Because Cosimo and the Medici are typically portrayed negatively, as cold, strategic bankers, he felt compelled to show that Cosimo’s vision for Florence was much deeper — a light in the darkness — impacting the world for generations to come.
“Italy was an epiphany,” Emory reveals. “My travels, the art, architecture, food, the wonderful people, and the way they revered their artists were eye-opening. Once Italy shut down I was longing to get back but also wanted to give something back — to show my gratitude for relighting the creative fires within and for making me feel at home.”
With Italian historical references woven into Americana-infused rock, Love Italy was released on Friday, October 21.
Drums & Percussion, Bass, Vocals
Featured on the ‘Love Italy’ EP
Backing Vocals on Roma, La Serenissima, Firenze, La Primavera
Backing Vocals on Oh Tuscany