If you’ve been following JOVM over the last couple of months you may remember coming across a post on Total Giovanni. Comprised of Spike Punch, Vincenzo Del Negro, Shidi Amin (aka Sideboard Ford), Cavalio Nero (aka Hornelle Equinox) and Shattered Guru (aka Jingle Bello), the quintet originally formed in Milan, Italy and relocated to Melbourne, Australia. And to be honest, that may have been quite a savvy move, as Melbourne has become the internationally known home to a burgeoning indie dance music scene, thanks in part to its heavyweight, the renowned Cut Copy.
The quotient’s debut single “Human Animal” possessed an uncanny similar to Fear of Music and Remain In Light-era Talking Heads thanks to the fact that the song employed the use of polyrhythm, shimmering and angular guitar and sinuous bass paired with vocals delivered with an off-kilter, detached irony. In other words, the song was not only funky, it evoked a neurotic, anxious tension just underneath the surface. Their latest single, “Can’t Control My Love” pairs layers of shimmering and undulating synths, sinuous bass, four-on-the-floor drums, swirling electronics and vocals that sound much like a come-on and it’s done in a way that bears a resemblance to the synth-based R&B of the 80s and of Cascine Records but with a house music-like bridge. To uninitiated, they may re toad some level of irony to the song – and to those I have to say “how dare you!” At it’s heart it has a sincerity that’s winningly cheesy yet absolutely true; after all, if you’ve been desperately and stupidly in love, the song will feel and sound familiar.
The official video follows a group of knuckleheaded, troublemaking boys in their early to mid teens. However, it’s the youngest and smallest one of the group who not only displays a bit of conscience – he looks uncomfortable when one of the older boys spray paints what could possibly be a swastika – but manages to feel the first stirrings of love. He also proves to the bravest as he not only defends the object of his affection, risking getting his brains beaten in, he openly risks being looked upon as a fool. Or least as someone with an incredibly poor sense of rhythm. It’s sweet and goofy, as all first loves are.