Nothing For Breakfast
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Nothing For Breakfast

Florence, Tuscany, Italy | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Florence, Tuscany, Italy | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie




"Nothing For Breakfast - Place"

(Four out of Five Stars)

We’ve been searching for the Italian answer to Indie Rock, and we never found it. Italian lyrics don’t quite match the genre, but if you don’t play Italian songs in Italy, you don’t go anywhere in our country.
So, what can you do? You take your personality and make it your strength, as Samuele Cangi did with NFB. Cangi has put together all his experiences, good and bad; to build the important and smart record entitled “PLACE”. The Indie Rock record is featured in English, made possible by lead singer, Jonathan Shackelford. Shackelford’s voice ensures that the songs have nothing to envy to what happens elsewhere: synthesizers intertwined with electric guitars, a little Notwist a little Death Cab for Cutie; featuring great care of their vocal harmonies like Mercury Rev and a nervous and surreal approach a la Beck. A visceral and intense power pop, that opens up and becomes dreamy only when it's needed.
Just to let us know that maybe we finally have the answer we were looking for. - Rolling Stone (Italy, print)

"Rolling Stone/Mucchio/Rockerilla/Indie For Bunnies/Repubblica"

Il disco d’esordio per una band è sempre qualcosa di potente, pericoloso, rovente, allo stesso tempo è qualcosa che ti sconvolge in una misura che non si può spiegare a parole. Indipendentemente dalle prime volte passate.

Ed è così che immagino i Nothing For Breakfast che messo alle spalle un ottimo inizio con l’omonimo EP uscito l’anno scorso, esordiscono con il botto con in mano un bel discone che scotta, il disco “Place”. “Place” è un disco pieno di energia, che non suona per niente italiano e che coinvolge per l’elettricità degli arrangiamenti, per la grinta vocale e per la discreta qualità delle canzoni. La chitarrona in stile “The Edge” e una bella batteria d’impatto del pezzo d’apertura “Desert Sun” ci disegnano un pò l’intenzione, filo conduttore dell’intero “Place”: L’energia, un sound bello corposo con momenti di pausa, di raccolta che sono davvero uno degli aspetti più interessanti dell’intero lavoro. Lampi di Local Natives, OK GO, Muse, Thirty Second to Mars, e quella psichedelia che abbiamo tanto apprezzato nei Mercury Rev, si possono piacevolmente incontrare durante la tracklist. “Place” è un disco indie rock che abbraccia intelligentemente una scena musicale lunga vent’anni che va dai fine anni ’90 per arrivare a oggi dove sappiamo che molte band non disdegnano il pop nelle melodie, che risultano immediate e orecchiabili (non è peccato). Un esempio è il coraggio di proporre una delicata ballad come “Little King” che aspira ad essere una delle migliori del disco.

Il singolo “Castles Fall” è davvero un pezzo incredibile. Inteso, forte, romantico, sibillino.

Magari qualcuno storcerà il naso perchè rispetto all’EP i NFB sembrano aver perso un pò l’orientamento, la bussola rispetto al sound e lo stile che avevano proposto e vi posso assicurare che è stata l’impressione che ho avuto anch’io all’inizio. Ma del resto i dischi vanno ascoltati e riascoltati. Perchè solo scavando nei pezzi si possono incontrare le idee, le pensate, le chitarre, il basso e i disegni della batteria. Qua si parla di una band che suona e lo fa benissimo. Però proprio perchè lo fa benissimo deve stare attenta a non esagerare in manierismi e forzature nel sound e negli arrangiamenti. Come un calciatore supertecnico che fa solo pezzi dimenticando l’essenza.

Nel frattempo mi vado a riascoltare “Castles Fall”. -

"Dallas’ Most Stylish Couple Hosts an Unplugged Rock Concert in their Stunning Home: Inside the Best House Party Ever"

Heather Wiese Alexander and her husband, Scott Alexander (they own Knox-Henderson shop Nest and fine stationery line Bell’Invito), have developed a bit of a reputation for throwing some of the best house parties in town. Of course, when you have impeccable taste and a circle of friends that spans the globe and consists of talented creative types — most notably, the couple has a posse of famous and emerging musician pals — it makes putting everything together a fun adventure.

For several years now, the couple has hosted acoustic concerts featuring said music-makers inside the chic living room of their University Park home. They clear out the furniture, leaving only the seating and the musicians’ instruments and equipment. I have been lucky enough to attend many of these casual, effortlessly perfect evenings, so when an e-mail landed in my inbox from Heather recently inviting me to a “last minute concert” for Italian band Nothing For Breakfast, I promptly replied, confirming my attendance.

“I just found out yesterday they would do an unplugged session for us,” Heather’s e-mail said. “These guys are more rock than the usual suspects, so I was surprised they would come play at the house without all the amps. Love them — they are friends from Italy doing a small U.S. tour … I’m imagining an intimate group of true music lovers, since it’s such short notice!”

Undoubtedly, the best part about the concerts Heather and Scott host is their relationship with the musicians — their friends. It makes attending the concert all the more intimate. You’re not just being invited to listen to great live music in a small, private setting. You’re being invited to share in the friendship Heather and Scott share with the artists.

So, how did this Italian band land in Dallas? And how did the dots connect between Nothing For Breakfast and Heather and Scott, I wondered. Here, the full story, in Heather’s own words:

“I’ve known Jonathan since he was a kid. I met his parents during a study-abroad trip in college and we have remained close.

“Jonathan, who is the lead singer, and his brother David are the little brothers I claim, which I know sounds a little silly, but my husband truly calls them my Italian family. For well over a decade, with my frequent trips to Italy for work, and their frequent trips to the U.S. for family, we have spent the kind of time with each other that makes them feel like home.

“Both boys have lived with Scott and me for extended periods of time. They know about the concerts we have had at the house, and we had discussed having friends over to hear them. My feeling was that the rock was too hard for an intimate house venue — or at least mine.

“When the tour started, like a handful of bands we host, they were our house guests and we had no plans to have a house concert.

“(I have to tell you, these guys are full-on Florentines. They love great food and hate air conditioning (oy!), but five nights of coming home from work to fabulous Italian food and an Aperol spritz shoved into my hand was enough to get me used to a balmier-than-normal home for a little while.)

“The house concert idea came about very quickly on the third or fourth night of their stay. Two of the four band members play amazing jazz, and I had asked for a few jazz songs. The bass player picked up the trombone and out came some beautiful jazz. About two songs in, the drummer was on guitar, the bass player was on a trombone, a lead guitarist was on a trumpet and there were two guys on my piano — which if you are doing the math is one extra guy who is classically trained on piano, and who just joined in.

“Somehow, the jazz morphed into an acoustic revisit of their own rock music. I perked up and said, ‘This! Seriously?! You have to play this, here, for people. This is amazing.’

“They only had one slot open during their tour, which was the coming Sunday night, so I used my closest friends to get the word out and to find a food truck. (It ended up being Cavalli’s Pizza, which I now adore!) Coming up with a signature cocktail was a no-brainer: Aperol spritz. Mona, Jonathan’s mother, was with us and made a delicious sausage bruschetta, which we had the privilege of devouring, along with my favorite pasta from Francesco Farris (owner of Zio Cecio).

“I’m not sure how it all came together. All I know is that on both sides of the pond, Italians have always made great parties.” - PaperCity Mag

"Tired of the EU Referendum? Here’s Some Music"

Enjoying the EU Referendum so far? Finding it full of scintillating, balanced, educational debate and reasoned argument, free from personal politics and ulterior motives? No, me neither. All things considered, I thought we might as well listen to some music. Hearing a few decent tunes never fails to calm me down, keep me sane, reassure me that - in the words of The Killers - everything will be all right.
So I made a playlist. Each tune on the playlist is from a different EU country. And so to Italy, where we find the wonderfully named Nothing For Breakfast. There’s a Fink joke in there somewhere. At the risk of pissing off a large number of Italian people: decent homegrown indie rock isn’t massively easy to come by in Italy. I don’t mean there isn’t any, I just mean it’s not obviously hanging from the trees or served free with a glass of wine in a bar. So the passionate, dynamic Peaceful Corner is a like blast of dirty indie-rock air on a beautiful Tuscan hillside. Yep, I’m going straight to metaphor-Hades for that one. - Huffington Post

"Nothing For Breakfast - Nothing IIII Breakfast"

Rock music is a broad genre, and Italian band Nothing For Breakfast are happy to absorb it in its many forms, not being troubled by snobbery or aiming to be ruthlessly cutting edge. A glance at their influences will give you a handy overview of some of the forms that can be found on this debut release, written, recorded and produced by the four old school friends that make up the band. There are big-hitting classics like The Beatles, trendier, more alternative types such as The Strokes and Blur, right through to the commercial indie of The Kooks and The Wombats. As such, this will be a set of songs that will have a broad appeal, but will perhaps alienate a few people at times.

There's nothing particularly revolutionary about any of these songs, but each is well made and well produced. The indie-rock of 'Stranger' gets things off to a good start with a breezy buzz of guitars and slightly toned-down vocals; it's almost The Strokes tidied up a bit. In fact, that band's guitars and lazy drawl can be found elsewhere, perhaps most notably on 'Yes It's OK' which is another highlight. 'Drunk Shoes' brings in a little funk and it's nice to see Nothing For Breakfast playing about with their sound a bit more, recalling Talking Heads on occasion. If you are of the more alt-rock persuasion, then the more earnest delivery of 'Pretty Girl', with its Kooks covering Kings Of Leon chorus, might not be to your taste, although it's perfectly fine. Pop fans will have no worries about 'Mrs Queen' but it does see the band opting for a more commercial sound that could perhaps be described as garage-lite. Once again though, it's a decent track.

The main point of contention for indie fans will be 'Caught Her Tonight' which should probably be appearing on some US teen TV show, although they do it well enough. Almost in total contrast, a cover of Nirvana's 'Drain You' is included as a bonus, yet, much like the approach taken on the rest of 'Nothing IIII Breakfast', it's like Nirvana given a good shower, being made to brush their hair, and dressed in some nice new clothes without any holes. These guys have made a nice enough album here and have the ability to write some good tunes, but it would be nice to see them letting go of their pop leanings and turning into alternative stars like those they probably look up to the most. - The Sound of Confusion

"Nothing for Breakfast- EP Album Review"

So, this is Nothing For Breakfast’s debut and self-produced EP? It’s hard to believe, but apparently true. Well, give this EP a listen and you’ll be amazed that this ensemble hasn’t rattled the recording ranks for decades – they’re that astonishing.

It seems that some of the magic that shines through is a result of the lads’ long-term relations and collective musical passions. Jonathan Shackleford (guitar and vocals), Samuele Cangi (vocals and guitar), Francesco Cangi (bass and backing vocals) and Marco Cali on drums are incredible musicians who share a brilliant history. Shackelford is an American whose parents ran a university in Florence. Cali is currently considered one of the best percussionists there. Samuel and Francisco Cangi are both multi-instrumentalists.

‘Stranger’ starts off the EP with unrelenting energy. “Don’t know where I am/Does anybody?” Those vocals are hard-to-resist. Shackleford’s pitch is consistently perfect, and he instinctively knows when and where to yank us into his virile universe. Next up is ‘Pretty Girl’. “Singing songs with you/Never mind the moon.” His voice escalates and crescendos whilst blissful strumming swirls below. This is one of several tear-in-the-throat performances. There’s a 60’s style lovability here, but also an underlay of the more contemporary Coldplay.

‘Yes It’s OK’ celebrates “Freedom from those who can’t see the light.” The gorgeous melody and entire arrangement glimmers with thematic integrity and the band’s signature guitar sound never ceases to excite. ‘Mrs. Queen’ has its share of quirky lyrics and a sideways progression. The band shows off some sizeable and contagious riffs. ‘Drunk Shoes’ takes more stabs at unconventionality. It’s a fantastic mix of throbbing sound bytes, loopy wordplay, funky rhythms and captivating call and response. Props to the tightness of this outstanding quartet.

But Nothing For Breakfast can also capture elegantly the thrill of a new romance. In ‘Caught Her Tonight’ they prove that love at first sight is timeless. “I’ve never seen something so gorgeous before,’ Shackleford sings, like a gushing lover across a crowded room. Lush Beach Boys like backing vocals vie for attention as psychedelic guitar and burnishing back beats trickle below. The bonus track, a cover of Nirvana’s ‘Drain You’, recalls Ian Hunter’s saltiness and bar room bravado. But although Nothing For Breakfast brings to mind some other great acts, their repertoire is unique and genuinely passionate. I just can’t wait to hear their next recording. - Penny Black Music

"Nothing IIII Breakfast Made In etaly"

“Nothing IIII Breakfast” è l'EP d'esordio dell'omonima band, un lavoro curato ed interessante ricco di sfaccettature. Un pop che mantiene l'evanescente e malinconica spensieratezza delle formule artistiche indie di gruppi come i salernitani A Toys Orchestra. Pacati bassi, talvolta in lievissimo overdrive, stuzzicano le melodie pulite di chitarre e pianoforte in sottofondo, permettendo alla band di non risultare troppo smielata; la voce, quasi sempre coronata da cori riverberati, gioca un ruolo fondamentale insieme alle chitarre ritmiche distribuite con un articolato sistema di panning: l'anima del gruppo sta in questo, nella riproduzione di un'atmosfera, di un concetto, più che nella stesura di un singolo dopo l'altro. Quello dei Nothing For Breakfast, nonostante sia un esordio, è un concept già preciso, di una band che crescerà ancora.

C'è da dire che molti spunti all'interno dell'album riconducono in maniera istantanea alla ricetta artistica dei sopracitati cilentani, citazioni (probabilmente involontarie) che si leggono tra le righe “Yes it's ok” o “Stranger”, le prime due tracce di “Nothing IIII Breakfast”. Accordi ed intrecci d'oltre Manica sbarcati nella nostra penisola da un po' di anni come le chitarre di “Mrs Queen” e “Drunk Shoes”, un revival britannico dei primi anni 2000 in chiave indie-rock moderna. Un EP interessante, sei tracce di un gruppo che indubbiamente possiede un'ottima padronanza dei propri mezzi, curato nelle melodie, riverberate per saturare l'aria di un'atmosfera che, tuttavia, necessita ancora di una firma più pronunciata e nitida.
In bocca al lupo. - Federico Musso,


2013 - Nothing IIII Breakfast (EP)
2015 - Place (LP)



Nothing For Breakfast is an emerging new Italo-American band whose "songs have nothing to envy to what happens elsewhere: synthesizers intertwined with electric guitars, a little Notwist a little Death Cab for Cutie; featuring great care of their vocal harmonies like Mercury Rev and a nervous and surreal approach a la Beck.  A visceral and intense power pop, that opens up and becomes dreamy only when it's needed."  (Rolling Stone Italy)

Front-man Jonathan Shackelford, Dallas-born, Arkansas-rooted and Tuscan-Italy-raised has partnered with professional musicians and longtime friends Samuele Cangi, Francesco Cangi and Marco Cali'.

NFB's debut full-album "Place" was released in November 2015 by Idra Recordings with overwhelmingly positive reviews.

They will be on tour in Europe and the U.S. throughout 2016.

Band Members