New Haven singer-songwriter Xavier Serrano writes acoustic guitar music carried by a characteristically smooth vocal croon and a cryptic lyrical edge. Since 2017, the New Haven musician has kept plenty busy releasing the excellent Child EP with his former band Kindred Queer and a series of solo releases of his own: Pierpont St. Ad Libs, Sketches for Cernunnos, and Dire Straits.
Today, Serrano has released his new album and first solo full length, Bell Chimes of Yesteryear.
Bell Chimes of Yesteryear is Serrano’s most fully realized release to date. In his past solo endeavors, the New Haven singer-songwriter crafted songs that generally centered around his breathy lyrical mysticism and sparse acoustic guitar arrangements. Within the first few measures of album opener “Run For Your Life”, the increase in musical complexity is immediately apparent.
Decorated with auxiliary percussion, intertwining electric-acoustic leads, ghostly harmonies, and the occasional woodwind, these new songs now feature a wholistic atmosphere that juxtaposes Serrano’s urban observations with a warm earthy aesthetic. In addition, the added instrumentation creates a sense of physical dynamics, often contributing to subtle builds from beginning to end.
While Serrano has a great enough singing voice where one can enjoy the music with passive listening, he also has a knack for writing lyrics concerning lofty existentialism, politics, love, and the nuances of daily living. While early standouts like “Trapped” and “Darling, You Were In My Life” channel particular topics, others like “As a Human” tackle them all at once, with a brutally affecting honesty.
Bell Chimes Of Yesteryear was recorded by Sam Carlson of Sans Serif Recording, and is intended to be the first in a series of three albums to be released over the next year or so.
Listen to Bell Chimes of Yesteryear by Xavier Serrano below: