Storyteller extraordinaires Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice take on the mighty force that is artificial intelligence, with their latest creative deep-dive and fully animated, immersive release The Machine.
Renowned across the indie plain for their uniquely historical context and outright colourful, artistic musicality, Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice comprises a collective of artists fusing rock, pop and electronic aspects, and in every case explores unexpected yet boldly compelling topics.
Releasing on January 19th, The Machine delves into the connections and spaces between emotions and algorithms; ‘between freedom and control’. It does so by way of a direct addressing from the AI being – a conversational, playful tone, but ultimately one that threatens our very nature, as it asserts itself fearlessly throughout the four and a half minutes of The Machine.
At the same time, this spiraling, passionate delivery and robotic rhythm and soundscape combination makes for an aptly machine-inspired, conveyer belt-style groove, which naturally reinforces the song’s implications.
Rising up in passion and energy, the leading voice continues to peak as the song gathers momentum, and the music becomes all the more enchanting and enveloping at the very same time.
The concept is both simple and complex, not unchartered territory in song or reality anymore, but this realism and fear ties in with freshly posed questions like ‘What does it mean to be free in a world controlled by algorithms?’ We can list the differences between machines and humans, between AI and soulful contemplation and creation, but what happens to our nature, our minds and our world, when we lean too heavily towards reliance upon artificial intelligence?
Proving both exciting and unsettling in its fullness and pace, the musical and lyrical journey of The Machine captivates for its unusual qualities combined. We begin with eerie bass and a dial tone, ambient warmth towards retro synths and electronic connections. Then spoken fragments indicate the takeover of AI, and so the groove drops in, and the singer relays these thoughts or layers of code (effectively) from this new creation. The haunting first words repeat quite powerfully – ‘I keep watching you, keep watching you, keep watching you… And I tell you I’m protecting you.’
Always managing to balance faultlessly along the line between the absurd and terrifying and the relative and fun, The Machine makes perfect sense as an Andrea Pizzo and the Purple Mice single, and yet presents an entire new venture on their behalf as well. There’s plenty to consider, and the consistently rising energy and intensity help draw you in more hypnotically with every moment.
Returning to provoke thought, immerse listeners and educate them all at once, the unforgettable creative outfit Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice flip the script on contemporary music, with the two-side release Bombshell.
Beginning with its multi-layered electronic rock title-track, Bombshell presents a retro floor-filler vibe with passionate vocals. Woven in amidst this is the unique telling of the story of Hedy Lamarr – an inventor and actress made famous during 1940’s and 50’s Hollywood.
A cascading array of synths wrap up an enticing series of scenes and self-reflections on the role of our protagonist Hedy. Complex considerations resolve every time with the simple repeat of this synth-loaded, dance-ready hook and title-line.
As ever, Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice have captured an unexpected niche, proving both devoted storytellers and unrivaled entertainers.
Part two of this intriguing new release is he song The Ballad of Alan Mathison, a story transporting listeners to 1940’s London – the home of AI inventor Alan Turing, during the war.
Creatively the very set-up of this single is entirely different to the opener. A piano-led ballad, a characterful, crackled vintage vocal, quietness and space – an instantly clear story-line of simple lyrical reflections and meandering, unpredictable melodies. All at once we’re confronted by both personality and desperation – quirky vocals relaying images of a bomb-stricken London, of destruction and uncertainty.
The song builds up to form a more explosive rock expression of the clear passion of our protagonist, as the lyrics revert memorably to these ideas of bringing back the fathers, the mothers, and peace.
Inventing and science are the central themes of the two new singles. Both Hedy Lamarr and Alan Turing had a phenomenal impact on today’s society, with the former being considered the creator of Wifi and Bluetooth, and the latter deciphering the Enigma code to essentially free Europe from Nazi rule (as well as gifting us the now infamous AI).
In the same instance, both suffered unfortunate fates, were subjected to prejudice, and remain largely uncelebrated.
Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice are here to change that, and to once again shine light on the lesser revered corners of our history.
Uniquely historical context once again lights up the unrivaled and thoughtful sound of Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice, as their latest double-single release ADA presents the musings of a lesser-discussed yet hugely impactful historical figure.
Dedicated to mathematician and scholar Ada Byron, the project celebrates someone understood to have been the first programmer of human history, and makes fine use of vocals from Silvia Criscenzo to draw the listener in to this story.
The opening pop-rock arrangement balances warmth of keys and synth notes with a mellow rhythm and mildly distorted undertone, as colourful and energetic vocals guide us passionately through a long-form lyrical journey.
The style is unmistakable and unpredictable all at once – qualities renowned amidst the Andrea Pizzo creative corner. The easy funk-rock groove maintains a consistency underneath this outpouring of meandering melodies and details. It’s enjoyable throughout, yet the depth as ever promises a whole other layer of value within that experience.
ADA is fantastic, increasingly uplifting, gripping and enlightening, and the perfect title-track for this short yet striking release.
Second in line comes the fairly self-explanatory The Boys From Silicon Valley. Here we get a more electronic-rock ambiance of soaring synths and guitars, before that now familiar voice emerges for another almost freestyle-like progression and story that’s both informative and motivationally passionate.
The lyrics of both songs included in ADA were inspired by thoughts and quotes from the brightest minds of Silicon Valley, as well as linked to the ideas of philosopher Ayn Rand, “for whom human ingenuity and commitment are fundamental elements , necessary for the achievement of individual happiness.”
As is the way of Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice, music is both an escape from and confrontation with reality – unorthodox and unparalleled strengths that continue to appeal across a multitude of original singles and collections.
Something about this latest release though, the ADA song in particular as an opening moment, reaches out with both humanity and vastly impressive musicianship, to connect as a raw and emotive performance as well as a thought-provoking venture.
Absolutely unusual in the most wonderful way – something of an audio-theatre show with real, awakening and even actionable ideas. Well worth knowing about.
I’ve always found artists fascinating and interesting; they always tend to see things from a different angle, which could be reflected in their music, paintings, or designs. When it comes to Andrea Pizzo and The Purple Mice project, it’s everything; from the vocal methods used and the arrangements of music in their tracks to their artwork and videos. This five-member band’s music will fascinate you, make you uncomfortable and leave you with lots of questions.
This project is artistic in its nature and family-based. Andrea Pizzo is the main composer and the lead singer of The Purple Mice; he’s always been interested in sciences and science fiction movies, which explains the artwork of the album and the sound effects and context of his compositions. Raffaella Turbino is Andrea’s wife, who is the artist behind the drawings, paintings, and video-making of the songs, she also writes the lyrics of the songs. The 3rd member of the purple mice is their daughter Maria Elena, who contributes a lot to their artistic projects. Riccardo Morello is a composer and a vocal coach who composes all the melodies and plays the keyboard for the purple mice. The last member of the band is Roberto Tiranti, the lead singer, and bassist of Labyrinth band is the one playing all the instruments and handling the musical arrangements of all the purple mice’s songs.
‘Potatoes on Mars’ is varied, it opens you up to a whole world of moods, possibilities, and emotions within the 11 songs. The first thing that crossed my mind was how it reminded me of the 80s and 90s music vibe. ‘Potatoes on Mars’ song has a swing as if you can twist dance to it. While ‘Jupiter and Galilean Moons’ ‘s intro played, I could hear the song playing in a superhero movie, in a winning scene representing the sound of glory and resilience. Then moving forward, the only thing you hear in the vocal line is a series of only oohs and ahhs, sung with remarkable vocal control. He demonstrated different rhythmic patterns vocally and notational leaps.
Throughout the entire album, you will hear space-inspired music as if a rocket is launching into space, or as if there are astronauts floating across space, reaching out for the stars. You will hear remarkable and fascinating vocal abilities and control, unusual sound effects, and skilled arrangements and compositions. Keeping an open mind while listening to this album is key, headphones on, and enjoy the ride!
Potatoes On Mars
Long-awaited and every bit as creatively unpredictable as hoped, Andrea Pizzo and band deliver their latest conceptual deep-dive and rock-kissed arena of entertainment, in the form of the vast and artistic Potatoes On Mars.
Notably a rock album at its core, arrangement matters, and the art of the album stands tall from the moment those vocals pierce through to introduce Keep On Searching.
Soon after, we welcome electric guitars, punk-rock rhythms and soulful, choir-like buildups for an ultimately inspiring hit of possibility that starts things off on a mighty high.
As the album moves forward, strings and deeper reflections meet with catchy guitar riffs for the ambient consideration of Song Of Nothing – concept takes over in the place of weight and pace, reminding us of the historical context that so frequently shows itself in the Andrea Pizzo catalogue. This song is beautiful, its acoustic delicacy allows the leading voice to sound naturally emotive and quite stunning as it softly yet passionately guides us through the reflections on offer.
The unmistakable funk of Among The Stars makes a worthy appearance, quickly elevating the eclecticism and versatility of the project for its reimagination of genre and purpose; and those Zeppelin-reaching vocal shifts.
Then there’s the title-track, country-soaked with a hint of ska, melodically infectious, shedding light on the inspiration behind the work; whilst uplifting its audience with an undeniable air of brightness and bounce. Another highlight for the sheer strength of this as an inescapable earworm and booster for good vibes.
Suddenly the cinematic drama of strings and rising intensity contrasts heavily afterwards, as the again unmistakable and extensive journey of Jupiter And The Galilean Moons takes hold. During this nine-minute-plus part of the experience, you’d be forgiven for forgetting there was an external album at work.
Other highlights from the eleven-track Potatoes On Mars include the rise and fall of a longing and poetic Go Fishing In The Ocean of Enceladus, and the shifting tempo and swagger of Pale Blue Dot. There’s also a cinematic charm and melodic soul to the story and build-up of Goldilocks Zone, marking this brief section of the project perhaps the most easy to revisit.
The closing quarter brings further sci-fi-strings and dashes of other-worldly production in the form of an eventual prog-rock anthem, Masters Of The Galaxy, and the rock and roll caress continues for an unmissable Road To Universe at the penultimate moment – a frenzy of electric guitars more than worth waiting for.
There’s another absolute earworm to finish, the catchy and courageous, uplifting closer Starship To Heaven – raising the roof and the mood of the room to leave you with a lingering sense of having really been somewhere new with this music.
As ever, unlike anything else you’ll hear this week. Familiar yet not, comforting yet fearlessly strange and exotic, thought-provoking in ways you can’t quite prepare for. The album is built of stages, evolving levels of Space and Time, with various stories and factoids planted throughout to really get the mind working. Check out our interview for more insight.
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Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter @ StereoStickMan
An Italian space rock group influenced by some of the biggest bands of the ‘70s and ‘80s, Andrea Pizzo and the Purple Mice are an essential project for any fan of bold, experimental sounds paired with undeniably catchy melodies. After making their mark a few years ago with the cosmic ‘Excerpt from Potatoes on Mars’, the band are finally ready to unveil the full release, and we couldn’t be more excited.
A unique project built by a diverse group of artists, Andrea Pizzo and the Purple Mice built their sound around Andrea Pizzo's distinct voice and seemingly limitless creativity, designing a concept album about the Universe and some of humanity’s deepest dreams. Dating back to 2019 when Andrea and Raffaella Turbino decided to combine their different natures in a common, expressive project, their debut album is a collaborative triumph, arriving as a musical odyssey that demands to be heard. A brilliant collaborative project, one where songwriting, lyrics, music, singing, and making videos were all shared and celebrated in unison, it’s an album that deserves to be celebrated and placed firmly in the spotlight.
An album of stirring creative choices and sweeping, cosmic passages, ‘Potatoes on Mars’ is sometimes heavy, frequently funky, and always engaging, demonstrating the talents of the musicians alongside a fun soaring story through our solar system. Highlights abound, breaking down barriers and opening up new paths right from the start, opening with ‘Keep On Searching’, an introspective rock opera inspired by Karl Popper’s ‘Principle of Falsification’.
From there, the band continue to impress with standout anthems like ‘Song of Nothing’ and ‘Potatoes on Mars’, two massive, rolling pieces that shine with lyrics clarity, upbeat anthemics, and sharp harmonies that ebb and flow seamlessly. Elsewhere, the stellar ‘Jupiter and The Galilean Moons’ unfolds as a brilliant ten-minute epic, one that covers orchestral passages, bold, sweeping movements, and carefully cultivated references to the moons of Jupiter and the astronomer Galileo. It’s a monumental piece, one that builds to soaring science fiction heights that will stay with the band for years to come.
In the closing half of the album, Andrea Pizzo and his band continue to impress with ‘Pale Blue Dot’, ‘Goldilocks Zone’, and closing number ‘Starship to Heaven’, three immersive pieces that showcase their diverse style. Blending progressive folk sounds, inspired balladry, and a dynamic pop-rock aesthetic, the tracks are a perfect blend of science, imagination, and music.
An album unlike anything else you’ll hear this year, ‘Potatoes on Mars’ is simply undeniable, delivering fearless, experimental sounds with a thought-provoking and wonderfully inspiring feel. It’s an album built to be heard and appreciated, with the music unfolding like the vast cosmos around us.
Available now on most major streaming platforms, Andrea Pizzo and the Purple Mice’s ‘Potatoes on Mars’ is an album you definitely won't want to miss. Check it out above, and make sure you take a look at the band’s website and social media pages below for more.