THOMAS ITTY - RETROSPECTIVE
3.7 out of 5
By Jamie Funk - Divide and Conquer
Thomas Itty is an indie singer/songwriter and DIY recording artist from Westchester County, New York. I’m not sure how old he is now but he has been writing songs since he was seventeen years old. Itty has released two albums as an independent artist: The Dark Edge of The Light (2000) and From There to Here (2013). His latest release Retrospective is much longer than a standard or LP. It’s just under three hours. It’s really about three albums worth of material.
He categorizes his music as acoustic rock which seems about right. Although I think I would have to include the word folk in there as well. I’m obviously not going to go through every track but will mention some of the highlights.
The opening track “Solomon Grundy” was one of the highlights out of the batch. His music especially on this song isn’t far away from a band like the Grateful Dead. There is that sort of soft and warm texture to the vocals and guitars which made me think of that in addition to the delivery. The song which is actually kind of dark and about cancer is one of my favorites,
“Living Free” was another standout. This song starts off as a straight folk song with guitar and vocals. The song does build up with instrumentation and does rock out although not too hard. The next song “Same World New Reality” was another highlight. It’s a joyful song about perspective, reality and possibility.
“True Blue Troubadour” was mixed really well. The music itself seemed to be very well separated making plenty of space for the vocals. I’m just scratching the surface here but I will say the songs do have a similar quality so if you like one song you're bound to like more.
This is a massive collection of music and is certainly a testament to Itty’s talent. Take a listen.
Prolific Songwriter Thomas Itty Does the Unthinkable, Releases Album (Retrospective) with 33 Songs…and a couple bonuses!
by Joshua (J.Smo) Smotherman - Indie Music Discovery
Life-long, and quite prolific, New York based songwriter Thomas Itty has been penning his own jams since he was in his teens. With a classic rock edge, some acoustic soul, a little Americana and a dash of folk, Retrospective delivers 35 tracks from this writers creative mind. Originally from Bangalore, India, Thomas has been in New York for approximately 25 years. Retrospective is his third album following up previous releases: 2000’s The Dark Edge Of The Light and From There To Here, released in 2013.
With 35 tracks total on Retrospective and a high level of song crafting consistency, it’s safe to say Thomas’ new album provides plenty of classic-folk-rockin’ jams that will boost your mood, pump your adrenaline, poke at your heart, reflect on past events, or simply have you sitting back, tapping your foot, enjoying some high quality music for an extended period of time (a major plus for those of us whose brains shut down dude to the abundance of options and the inability to decide).
The prolific writer that he is, Thomas has also published a book, Bangalore Baloney. Originally a soundtrack was to be recorded and released alongside the book, but due to multiple constraints Thomas has only, thus far, released the book.
About his prolific writing nature, Thomas says,
I have written well over 100 songs going back to when I was a teenager. I don’t know where they come from — the lyrics and music just appear by magic when I pick up my guitar sometimes and I don’t struggle much to finish the songs. I think all my songs in some way reflect a feeling that I’m going through at a given moment but have a universality that other people can relate to.”
- Thomas Itty on his volume of songwriting
THOMAS ITTY GIVES US HIS ‘RETROSPECTIVE’
by Keith Pro -- Indie Band Guru
Songwriting is a skill that is never as easy as it seems. It takes an open and creative mind to put together words and melody that can tell a story and capture the ears of the listener. Our recent discovery Thomas Itty has mastered the art of sharing a story within a song. Music seems to come easy for him and he truly enjoys creating it.
The independent singer-songwriter and storyteller originally hails from Bangalore, India but has called Westchester, New York home for the last 25 years. Thomas Itty has put the time as well as his heart and soul into becoming the best musician he can. If a genre had to be linked with Thomas, his sound could be best described as acoustic rock. He is very prolific with over 100 songs in his catalog. His true talent is the way he is able to tell a full story within a song leaving the listener hanging on his words to hear the conclusion.
The newest collection of Thomas Itty songs is his extra full-length album Retrospective. At 35 original songs, it is more of an opus than an album. Whether he is re-defining an old nursery rhyme such as on the opener “Solomon Grundy” or bringing the rock energy as on “True Blue Troubadour” Thomas Itty shows off his songwriting skills.
One that really grabbed me was the attention-grabbing “Living Free”. A story of life with some amazing guitar work thrown in to hit on all my musical love. There is a multitude of great songs here and the album deserves a listen from start to finish. It will take you some time but you will have a deeper fondness for story songwriting by the end.
Thomas Itty – Retrospective
Born and raised in Bangalore, India, singer-songwriter, Thomas Itty is now a New Yorker through-and-through, living in the Big Apple for the past twenty-five years.
Armed with his own home studio, and a deep love for the iconic works of colleagues such as: Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison, Jim Croce, Cat Stevens, Mark Knopfler, Ian Anderson, Bruce Springsteen, and so many others—this prolific songwriter has written over 100 songs dating back to his teenage years.
“I’m already about 5 songs into my next album.”
Having previously released projects such as 2000’s The Dark Edge Of The Light, and 2013’s From There To Here, Itty has just released an absolute monster of an album, the 35-track, Retrospective.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Idioms & Rhymes feels a bit like the 80’s pop-rock of Hall & Oates.
Itty’s love of the 70’s singer-songwriters shines bright in, Living Free, a track which can’t help but bring to mind the likes of Cat Stevens…
“Living free until I die
Sometimes I’m low sometimes I get high
In times of trouble I don’t hide
These are the days of my life…”
From drinking tea, to walking the dog, Same World But New Reality, ignores modern-day chaos and finds a way to celebrate the wonderful, beautiful, and—most importantly—the simple things in life.
A precious rock-ballad, What Your Love Has Done For Me, is a simple and elegant love song for partner and child. We also get an equally endearing electric solo at 2:16…
“The sun shines its light and it burns so bright
It brings life to the earth and sea
It causes things to grow it makes the waters flow
And keeps the world in harmony
It’s what your love has done for me
It’s what your love has done for me
You have saved me and set me free
That’s what your love has done for me…”
Not mincing any words is, 4 Horses, a classic-rock-style anthem for modern times. (Think: Buffalo Springfield’s, For What Its Worth.)…
“It don’t matter
What you believe
One true religion
Or the Lord Of The Rings
Saint or sinner
We all must die
You can say there’s heaven
Or just kiss your ass goodbye…”
Neil Young comes to mind once again in, Exit To Danger, an electric-rock-style warning to all who come and go carelessly. Exit to danger, be advised.
Our Favorite Track…
Letters From The Front tells the heartwarming story of a young man at war who’s written a letter to his mother. The song feels supremely sincere, and the electric guitar tone is never better anywhere else on the record. It’s far and away our favorite song on the album…
“Momma, I’m afraid to die
Momma, I’m afraid to die
My hands are shaking
But I’m too ashamed to cry
Momma, I’m afraid to die…”
As I offers the album’s philosophical thumbprint as it ponders all things from all perspectives…
“I’d rather be a bird than a bee…”
The blues-lounge-style, Pages From My Book Of Memories, is our second favorite track. Layers of blues-drenched licks underpin memories of years past. The melody and emotion are substantially nostalgic…
“I’m working for a living and I’m 21
Have a girl, and back then
I thought she was the one
Ride my motorcycle in the rain
Just for fun (that’s how I rolled those days)
Look at an eclipse
With my eyes to the sun (baby, I was fearless)…”
A raw indie-sound. An unabashedly authentic melding of acoustic and electric folk-rock. Real-life songs from a well-traveled real-life artist. Thomas Itty’s latest 35-track monster album, Retrospective, covers love, adventure, philosophy, loss, social justice, and redemption in a witty and thoughtful fashion. The album has an honest and simple, almost “live” sound which seems to match this man’s affinity for making a yesterday-style of hand-crafted tunes.
What’s more, his vocal timbre has the rasp we all seem to love in this genre, which by no mistake blends seamlessly with his 70’s-style songwriting—as well as the use of the iconic Fender Stratocaster and other electric axes by he and his studio musicians. Check out the entire 35-track, Retrospective, below…
An amalgamation of Cat Stevens meets Neil Young…