Dormiglioni– The 1000 Mile Mindset Album Review

Honesty and Colorful Pop Sounds Blend Nicely on Dormiglioni’s Second Album

Pop music: the underrated yet oversaturated musical style. We all hear it one way or another: Top 40 charts, hip hop, even undercover acts. It’s usually concise, catchy, and employs every type of instrumental imaginable to grab listeners. The genre itself is a mixed bag; plenty of music hipsters have a general disdain for some of the lowest common denominator pop smashes that currently run on the radio. On the other hand, due to internet popularization of actually good pop, some of the best records in this style today are getting the true attention and acclaim they deserve. These records are expressive, expansive, and pristinely crafted for anyone to enjoy.

South Florida indie pop act, Dormiglioni (comprised of vocalist Stephanie Gonzales and producer Dillon D’Andrea) have plenty of these traits running through the DNA of their latest album: The 1000 Mile Mindset.

What Is Your Most Important Relationship?

When you press play on The 1000 Mile Mindset, you’ll be greeted by what can only be described as auditory warmth: friendly voices ruminating over their most important relationships, with buzzing synths and fuzzy bass cascading as a musical waterfall behind the disembodied speakers. “A Question for You”, the opener for the record is a perfect example of where The 1000 Mile Mindset hits its highest peaks. Dormiglioni is honest with their emotion, is as ambitious as up and coming pop music acts can be, and just makes you feel good with the gorgeous instrumentation. It’s the musical equivalent to laying next to your favorite person in the world while being wrapped in a blanket, eating s’mores, and watching a shower of multicolored stars pass by.

“A Question for You” does more than push the musical groundwork of The 1000 Mile Mindset to the forefront: it helps inject the themes of friendship, love and separation. While not extremely complex or poetic in its execution, Stephanie’s lyrics overcome these hurdles by being charming and incredibly revealing. The natural imagery and pretty delivery of “Yellow Flowers” makes me want to visit a Midwestern countryside. Occasionally her vocals can come off as a bit clunky in their melody matching, such as on the beginning of the hook “Big Apple” or spare moments on “Bring Me Peace”, but for the most part her vocal chops have improved greatly since Dormiglioni’s last album! While I may not have been a huge fan of the sharp keys on “FaceTime”, I love Steph’s sensual performance and lovesick lyrics on the record. The placement of “Facetime” as a track on this album, especially when it brushes shoulders with a few songs about separation, actually gives a prime example of the pop act’s attention to detail; what better way to contact a loved one than a phone call? Steph’s performances and writing on the record are honest as hell, and it’s more than simply admirable; on average, it succeeds.

Pleasant Pop Sounds

Love, as stated before, is a huge part of the album; beyond lyrics, it also bleeds into song structures of the record in some surprisingly nuanced ways. The beginning of “Life Is Better” is very much a bliss filled moment of appreciation for a romantic partner, but as soon as the lyrics become darker and reflective, the beat transitions into a nocturnal trap and synth combo that bangs. “B.Y.B B.B.Y” is a four dimensional song, featuring several subtle vocal changeups that all sound great along the ever shifting beats. Ambition is present in more than the completeness of the tracks here; some songs on the album contain vocal passages that are simply conversations, or voicemails. Where other artists tend to place these as a mean of puffing up their chest in a display of self importance, I feel that these moments are some of the best on the record. They underline the affectionate context of the record in a humanistic fashion, a prime example being “Big Apple’s” brief monologue about being lost and fascinated in the big city.

Credit must be given to D’Andrea on the beats here: they are as lavish and inviting as a Thanksgiving dinner. The ethereal strings and punchy drums on “A Message to Stephanie” makes it one of the most emotive tracks on the record despite the lyrics being comprised solely of vocal snippets. The beats succeed even more so alongside lyrics, as the descending electronics on top of the twittering percussion on “Life Is Better” lends to the heartfelt and ever shifting performance by Stephanie on the track. “Why Us?” is a kaleidoscope of musical textures and colors; the guitars, percussion, heavy bass, and multiple beat switches are gorgeous to the ear, and when it runs at nine minutes and 48 seconds, I wish I had another ten minutes available. It’s that good. The old fashioned synthwork, chimes, and vocal layering on “Grow Up!”, sounds icy-yet-dreamlike, matching one of Steph’s best vocal performances on the record to make a truly remarkable yin and yang of vocals and production. Nothing here sounds too menacing, outside of the great bonus track “Mindset”, a track partly produced and performed by guests Flip and Zlister, which features syrupy bass and trap blasts. While some can consider the lack of force a flaw, the softness of it all helps strengthen The 1000 Mile Mindset’s resolve as a charming odyssey through relationships. You cannot listen to the quaint “Season’s Greetings” and not feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Ultimately, I think this is a pretty damn good record to dip your toes into for some nice indie pop. The 1000 Mile Mindset has a certain charm that cannot be understated. Occasionally it may falter in a particular instrumental or performance, but the record is a great step forward for Dormiglioni, and is simply good to experience. The album is colorful, expressive, and shows that the South Florida duo is willing to go the distance to make some great music!

Listen to The 1000 Mile Mindset here!