It seems like something of a vague platitude to call someone a “musician’s musician,” but reading the bio of Mark Allen-Piccolo, you’re likely to agree– if ever there was one, it’s he, an unassuming, Oakland based singer/songwriter poised to make waves with his first ever solo release, Left From Here. Like the vast majority of musicians, Allen-Piccolo grew up in a house filled with music, from his dad’s classical and top-40 picks and his mother’s R&B inclinations, to the music his brothers favored, from hip-hop on the radio to deep indie cuts. Already steeped in an eclectic variety of tunes, he took an academic route into his musical practice, heading to UC Berkeley to study composition, conducting, musicology, ethnomusicology and musicianship. From there on out, his musical experience has been almost comically diverse, from conducting a full orchestra on Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring to working as a session musician in jazz and touring with a ‘70s reggae singer in Europe and South America. All the while, he crafted his own tunes. Perhaps the truth is, “musician’s musician” doesn’t even cut it for Allen-Piccolo, who also knows his way around the technical side of things, working as a sound engineer on projects like tUnE-yArDs latest album, Nikki Nack, and even deciding to pursue an electrical engineering degree because of his hobby building studio equipment. Sufficed to say, music is Mark Allen-Piccolo’s world, and he certainly knows his way around.
Today Elmore is premiering “Moonglow,” a track which takes you into the mind of an artist whose head is swirling with centuries of musical influence. The jangling, sunny sensibility of the Beach Boys from the outset mingles with the slightest touch of toe-tapping rockabilly time signature and Mark’s mellow, indie croon. Electronic blips and beeps straight out of a sci-fi movie flit over top of the track, offering a cheeky nod to the song’s extraterrestrial themes. ““Moonglow” is a love song to the moon,” Allen-Piccolo told Elmore. “It’s about those times when you are down and out, and as you’re walking through the streets, the only thing that seems to offer you any solace is the moon. It lights your life no matter how dark things are.”
Left From Here comes out this Friday, July 22nd. Follow Mark on Facebook and Twitter, and catch him on July 30th in San Francisco at Amado’s and August 4th in Oakland at Octopus Literary Salon. Listen to “Moonglow” below.