One of the more interesting releases to grace our mail box this month has to be from Rochester’s Gay Angel. The moniker of singer/composer Jake Bellissimo, the musician recently released his latest album, Places I’ll Eat, People I’ll Meet, in late July. My first thoughts when listening to this album were that it is busy as hell. Look at the liner notes on the bandcamp page. Aside from Bellissimo, nearly 25 musicians contributed vocals, horns, strings, and more to the nine track album, which, according to Bellissimo, is “a collection of stories, people, sex, food, and music collected over the past 3 years.” Here is the thing though. While some artists compensate lackluster song writing with busier complex sounds, Gay Angel is one of the few that can combine swamped audio with quality. Its wild and all over the place at times, but I never once listened to the album and thought Gay Angel didn’t have things under control.

At first listen, the act sounds like a more orchestral Okkervil River. Bellissimo even sounds quite a bit like Will Sheff, especially in the building, album opener “Four Dollar Room.” From there, shades of Owen Pallett, Beirut, and Sufjan Stevens show up all over the album. The exuberant “Gloria!,” complete with a joyously messy brass outro, and the dreary folk of “Lenny” are standouts on an album full of them.

This is a great album and its worth checking out. It’s available at the always nice name-your-price option for a digital copy on bandcamp, or if you want something physical, it will cost you $10. While that may seem steep for a local release, something has to pay for all of those horns…