Seamlessly integrated with the lush instrumental backdrop created by the synths in the mix, the vocal harmony that Ivan Comar summons in “Like Paparazzi Flashes” is powerful beyond what the pop status quo calls for. Through his dexterous execution here, Comar makes his lyricism all the more tangible to listeners whilst adhering to the minimalist principles that have become a centerpiece of a burgeoning European indie pop movement. In this song, and his other collaborative single with Gabriele Saro out this spring, “Open Your Eyes,” melodic might is all that matters, which is something pop fans should universally applaud.

There’s not a lot of low-end depth in either of these all-new collaborative tracks, but frankly, I don’t see why there needed to be. Saro brings so much physicality to the mic in her performance of “Open Your Eyes” that there’s not a whole heck of a lot of room left for bassline indulgences, while in “Like Paparazzi Flashes,” Comar’s stealthy movements wouldn’t be possible with any added sonic wallop. These are two musicians who know how to get efficient in the studio, and their attitude towards this material is partly what makes it so memorable.

Were the title of “Open Your Eyes” not emblazoned over the cover of the double-track disc, it would be hard to tell which of these two songs the B-side is and which is the lead single. They’re both supremely polished and smoothly arranged as to keep us on the edge of our seats from beginning to end, and neither feels like a product of commercialized fluff. I’d love to hear some content that includes more of their vocals in the same spot, but for the time being, I think this gives us more than a decent idea about what they can accomplish together.

The synth parts in “Like Paparazzi Flashes” and “Open Your Eyes” are remarkably warm and inviting, which is definitely not something that I can say about many of the similarly-stylized singles making headlines in the American underground at the moment. Rival acts seem to have been more than content in recent years to experiment with black and white synthesized melodies in some strange homage to industrial pop, but for these two, following what should have already been a dying trend in music is of no interest to their camp. There’s too much colorful harmonization here for Comar or Saro to blend into the crowd, which is always a good thing in my opinion.

Italian melody lovers as well as those abroad who are looking for hot beats to start off their summer early aren’t likely to find another pair of songs like these two anytime soon. Ivan Comar and Gabriele Saro have a combined skillset that is enough to make any upstart indie pop player a more than jealous, and in “Open Your Eyes” and “Like Paparazzi Flashes,” they put everything they’ve learned thus far into the music they create together. I really like where they could go with this sound, and once you’ve heard these tracks, I think you’ll agree.

Garth Thomas

The music of IVAN COMAR & GABRIELE SARO has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more