Pussyft crafts thoughtful songs with dynamic layers that blend playful elements of 80s synth pop with distorted, guitar-driven rock and avant-garde dreaminess. The project is masterminded by multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer and producer John Merigliano, whose multidimensional music captures an energized live sound that is full of unexpected sonic surprises. His passion for writing songs is made up of many intricate parts that together conjure vivid visual imagery. He is able to illuminate the distinct voices of guitars, keyboards, bass, drums, vocals, and rich musical effects and transform them into cohesive compositions that tell complex tales rooted in vivid visual memories. An energetic, engaging and experienced performer, Merigliano sings clever lyrics focused on love, human connection, and the twists of life’s journey in a clear, candid voice. Through these words that sit atop a bed of detailed melodies, harmonies and rhythms, Pussyft captures the delicate spaces between memory and anticipation, the exciting rush of the past, present and future.
Pussyft’s debut EP, Spectator Sport is Merigliano’s bold foray into original solo work. The collection was performed and recorded entirely by the artist and also features the talents of guest mixer Paul DeSilva. Spectator Sport is inspired by the complex beauty of human emotion and interaction. With a combination of humor and a bittersweet frankness, the songs present a cast of narrators who tell stories of love, loss, longing, isolation, awkwardness, evolution, and the struggle of communicating their desires.
The idea for Pussyft developed steadily during Merigliano’s many years spent playing and touring as a supporting instrumentalist in a variety of projects. His interest in composing and performing began with an early introduction to amplified music. He felt supercharged by detail-oriented prog rock bands like Rush, Genesis and King Crimson, then found his intrigue deepening further as he listened to punk and new wave bands like The Talking Heads, The Cars, The Minutemen, and the work of experimental avant-garde composers and performance artists like Meredith Monk and Philip Glass. Sitting in on his brother’s band rehearsals, he reveled in the experience of being surrounded by physical walls of sound and grew determined to build his own fortresses. Merigliano’s first instruments were the viola and the drums, the latter which he studied with his uncle, a renowned pop and jazz session player in New York City. His interest in songwriting took off as he learned to read and notate charts and study theory. He began to play along with pop records, at the same time learning piano and guitar while deepening his improvisational skills. At 15, he discovered his talent for writing pieces in the moment and began to collaborate with friends on instrumental music, which they recorded on cassette. It was through this recording process that he became interested in music production and engineering, turning those jam sessions into well-shaped songs.
Throughout high school and college, Merigliano was fascinated by classical composition and cinematic instrumental music, as he discovered his own style and voice as a composer and songwriter. While studying composition in 2015, he wrote a viola piece inspired by childhood memories. This piece ignited a spark that compelled him to leave his gig as a sideman and begin writing more personal solo work. He took to his basement studio and began to plant the seeds for what would bloom into Pussyft’s Spectator Sport.
Now, excited to share his fresh voice and musical approach as a songwriter and solo artist, Merigliano released Pussyft’s first EP, Spectator Sport in April, 2019.
Spectator Sport Liner Notes
“The remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” — Marcel Proust
I started writing the songs that would become Spectator Sport in late 2017. All are told from the point of view of a teenager or young adult and revolve around a few themes: young male curiosity, infatuation, and self-imposed loneliness. Our narrators are hooked, looking for escape through doorways leading to thrills, spills, and genuine wonder. Listening to the EP brings you into a stationary viewpoint where everything is heard through its parts. In that sense Spectator Sport forms a cycle meant to be listened to in one sitting, like turning the lens of a kaleidoscope; each song reveals another picture. — John Merigliano (July, 2019)