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Cavalo 55 – Hi’s&Lo’s (2022)(single)

Cavalo55 is delighted to finally announce his debut single ‘Hi’s&Lo’s’ which arrives off the back of an extremely productive last couple of years in which he has played extensively with various bands around Portugal (his current home base), recorded and released a handful of live sessions (leading to his first radio plays), serving as an early showcase for his forthcoming debut EP set for release early next year, and work extensively on his first set of songs under his own moniker. The sweepingly beautiful ‘Hi’s&Lo’s’ is one of them, and an early indicator of what an incredibly special EP it will be, once it arrives.

Cavalo55 is the musical project of very well-travelled Simone Carugati, a multi- instrumentalist, folk singer-songwriter. Since his first encounter with a guitar at 8 years old, he went on study guitar and music theory from age 12 and eventually started playing electric guitar in early 2000, becoming pretty much his sole focus for almost the entirety of his teen years. It was around this time that he also got into bass, slide guitar, banjos, and every string-based instrument. Growing up in Northern Italy, Cavalo55 didn’t have much to do apart from learning how to play the guitar and dreaming that he was somewhere in America.

Not only because of the Great Italian Diaspora, which had shaped both Italian and American culture in so many reciprocal ways, but mostly because by the 1990s American cinema had overflowed into the living rooms of families all around the globe, thus becoming the fabric of wonder for so many kids and teenagers: «The American city seems to have stepped straight out of the movies, » wrote the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. «To grasp its secret, you… should begin with the screen and move outwards to the city. » And as his fingerpicking gradually synced up to some of the Coen Brothers or Paul Thomas Anderson’s film scores, Cavalo55 marveled at the vast landscapes he himself was able to call forth with his music.

After playing in a few bands and studying at a film school, he quickly realized he’d never settle to be an armchair wanderer, so he started saving some money working as a sound technician on many reality shows (the Italian version of the Apprentice and some other talent shows), as well as more fulfilling documentaries and short films. As soon as he got a chance, he left Italy and traveled to Australia, Indonesia, Scotland, and the United States, where he mingled with anarchists and jammed with New Orleans’ music- loving crust punks. During those days of busking and train-hopping, he dug deep into the great legacy of old-time folk guitar music, absorbing the Delta blues of Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson’s slide guitar, and picking up the Appalachian banjo. One day he found himself in the deep redwood forests of Humboldt County, California, wondering if he had finally jumped out of the screen.

His travels thus far soon becoming something that continuous to inspire him, with the constant state of flux and tales they bring informing so much of his songwriting, now manifesting itself for the first time on ‘Hi’s&Lo’s’. As he explains, recounting one trip in particular, and how it went on to provide the inspiration for the track: “I wrote this song on the way back from France to Portugal. There’s this little place called Santo Tomé, close to Madrid, very dry, desert like hills, highways, and nothing else”.

A place which he manages to sonically depict on the track and its accompanying video. With evocative widescreen imagery here setting the tone for a breathtaking song that addresses the literal meaning of life’s highs and lows, seen through the lens of his own personal experience, and hinting at the possibility that there is always another side to the story, one that is left open to ponder as we all navigate the peaks and troughs of our lives and actions. Cavalo55 goes on to explain: “it’s about opposing forces that want us to keep some things unchanged, forever unspoiled, and at the same time our need to go forward. And it’s about being happy, and being sad, and then being ok, and then in the end, it being all good”.

Interweaving his travels, his touring musical career took off on the blues circuit in northern Italy and Switzerland. Later joining Filippo Dallinferno (now guitarist in LA band Crazy Town) on his first solo album and eventual tour, whilst on his Australia and

Scotland trips he joined bands such as The Spinning Blowfish and then Holy Locust upon his arrival in America.

Since decamping to Portugal, (because “the ticket to Lisbon was the cheapest”, he adds), he has been creating and collaborating in the Lisbon music scene, playing solo and regularly with artists such as Marinho, as her current guitarist, Time for T, and Monday, all of which are label mates, and The Lemon Lovers in bars, clubs, and venues the country over.

He has also played with the Grammy winner Paulo Novaes, joining him on tour recently, and Latin Grammy nominated artist Rubel, contributing guitars to their track ‘Paz Interior’. With Paulo he also played on the track ‘Casca do Ovo’. He has also shared the stage with Tiago Nacarato and Janeiro as well as playing and recording with Marta Miranda, from the band Oquestrada. In addition he has recently played live with Leo Middea, rapidly rising Brazilian artist Ana Vilela, Mbye Ebrima, Carapaus Orkestra, Afrobeatz and Lilocox among others.

With all of these collaborations further bolstering his reputation and songwriting, now the right moment has presented itself for him to create and release the first songs under his own name and his first coherent work as he looks to shape his musical identity as a solo artist.

Mainly self-produced and in large part self-recorded at his home studio with a few tools and with additional production coming from Hugo Valverde and Tiago Saga (Time for T), it was mastered by Philip Shaw Bova (Marlon Williams, Bahamas, Andy Shauf) with Catarina Falcão (Monday), Paulo Novaes and Tiago Saga adding backing vocals. ‘Hi’s&Lo’s’ is the kind of gorgeous song you will soon come to expect from Cavalo55. It’s the track he has chosen to emerge with, a perfect gateway to his ‘Late Harvest’ EP which will contain the tracks he has started to perform live for anyone fortunate enough to catch them already, creating moments of true intimacy and rhythms set to shake your body and soul.

Armed with an incredible batch of songs that are already more than ready to see the light of day, Cavalo55 has a continued determination and willingness to make them reach as far and wide as possible and play them as much and to as many people as he can. Hi’s&Lo’s will be released on October 14th, 2022. EP ‘Late Harvest’ will follow early next year, both on Street Mission Records, distributed by [PIAS].

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