American Trappist brings more melodic introspection to Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2

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American Trappist
American Trappist | photo by Kara Donnelly | courtesy of the artist

American Trappist is the solo project of Joe Michelini (formerly of the band River City Extension). New Jersey born and raised, his music has always had a clear Mid Atlantic alt-rock influence. His newest EP Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2, lightens up from the Gothic Americana sound of older records with a more subdued rock tone across the board. For Michelini, this means surf guitar and light percussion, and on a surface level, Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2 might be the sort of record you’d want to put on while lounging at the beach.

Sure, Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2 can be listened to for its melodic sound, but it’d be a real disservice to the talented songwriting present throughout. In terms of lyricism, “Q.C.” particularly is a standout track about silencing anxieties. It is also important to note the presence of “Dirtwolf,” a remix of a song from last year’s Tentanda Via by Mike Constaney. On it, Michelini performs in spoken word while EDM beats play in the background. The track is mildly incongruent with the rest of the EP, but interesting nonetheless.

Michelini is scheduled to stop by Philly a few times this summer. On Friday, July 19th, he will be at MilkBoy opening for The High Drivers. Tickets are available on the venue’s website. If you can’t make that date, on July 28th he will be at The Bass Mint with Lizdelise and Lily McKown, however, ticket information has not yet been released. In the meantime, be sure to check out Amuse​-​oreille, Vol. 2  which has been available to stream and download since June 28th, and be on the lookout for American Trappist’s Key Studio Session, which is being recorded this week.


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