Kite, The New EP from Camelias Garden


It’s hard not to like this band, there are so many elements at work here that go so magically well together. Camelias Garden is where you want to be!”

– Peter Thelen, Expose 


Blending nostalgia with a subtle touch of modernity, Camelias Garden made a solid showcase for a band that shows a     lot of promise for the future”

 Raffaella Berry, Prog Sphere

After the debut with the album You Have a Chance (2013, Fading Records), welcomed positively by international and italian critics, Camelias Garden are back with a studio 6-track EP titled Kite.

It has been crafted to be a merge between the rich sound of the first album and the new enriched songwriting elements coming from the substantial line-up change in the band.

Consequently they did a more essential and straight-forward production from different studios in the Eternal City, that brings the band to a more experimental and electric approach.

The album will be distributed worldwide on May 20th, 2015 through the major online stores, with a few promotional physical copies.

  1. Rise (2:05)
  2. Making Things Together (5:10)
  3. Kite (8:27)
  4. Red Light (3:22)
  5. The World Inside You (3:55)
  6. Useless (6:34)

Valerio Smordoni: lead and backing vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards
Simone Contini: drums
Alberto Cari: bass guitar

Manolo D’Antonio: electric guitars, 12-string and 6-string guitars, backing vocals
Gian Marco La Serra: piano, keyboards, backing vocals.


Camelias Garden merge together the acoustic and vocal elements of folk songwriting with the instrumental weavings and arrangements of progressive rock and post rock.

The band was born in Rome in 2011 as a solo project of singer and multinstrumentalist Valerio Smordoni to become a full band.

You Have a Chance was their debut album, released in March 2013, which was showcased in the famous roman radio RadioRock and live for Altrock/Fading Records at La Casa di Alex in Milan, selling more than 1000 copies in a short time. This debut let the band start an intense live activity plus positive reviews from international webzines like Prog Sphere and IO Pages, and italian ones like Rockit and Roba da Rocker.

Their music style comes from films, pictures, from green fields and memories of a distant past. The soundtrack of an imaginary movie crafted by vocal harmonies, synthesizers and acoustic guitars.

In Sept. 2013 they were on the front page of ExitWell magazine.

In March 2014 they were semifinalists at Arezzo Wave festival.

In May 2014 the win the critics award at Roma Folk Fest festival.

I’m not the-list-kind-of-guy but…

…nevertheless I have done my homework and now will present my list of the best albums from this absolutely fantastic year of prog! 🙂 I mean 2012 and 2013 have been excellent years both of them but 2013 has been special. I think we can agree on that even though our personal lists may differ a bit. Not to be spoiling too much, but the number one was a no-brainer really, but then it was extremely hard to distinguish between albums 2 to 6. These are five albums that actually can interchange their positions depending on what kind of day it is for me. 🙂 This is how it all ended up today at least. So off we go!

10. Camelias Garden – You Have A Chance

You Have A Chance

Lovely debut album by this Italian band. Folky prog a bit in the vein of Harmonium.

9. Spock’s Beard – Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep


Well, who would have thought that my favourite SB-album would be the one without both Neal and Nick? But so it is!

8. Haken – The Mountain


Rawk’n’rawl and some real quirkiness in a fine mix! Will always remember sitting in Mr Ian Greatorex’s listening room with high end stereo equipment, giving this a first listen…with a Big Big Beer in my hand.

7. Lifesigns – Lifesigns

Lifesigns CD (2)

After feeling it was a bit “meh” to start with this lush album has grown and grown. Some really beautiful songs here!

6. The Tangent – Le Sacre du Travail

tangent 2013 cover

Mr Andy Tillison’s magnum opus to date! Greatness! And with Gavin on drums and Jonas on bass, what can possibly go wrong?

5. Cosmograf – The Man Left In Space


Superb album by Robin Armstrong’s brainchild, comsograf! It’s one of those you just have to listen to from beginning to end totally undisturbed. 

4. Moon Safari – Himlabacken Vol. 1

Himlabacken Vol. 1

I can’t resist this band’s music! It always makes me so very happy and warm inside! Lovely peeps in the band as well!

3. The Flower Kings – Desolation Rose

"Pure Flower Kings, pure prog and Kingly epic."

Best TFK album since Space Revolver I dare say. So glad they’re back and sounding so fresch and on their toes again!

2. Steven Wilson – The Raven That Refused To Sing

Raven That Refused to Sing

What can I say? It’s a gorgeous album!

1. Big Big Train – English Electric: Full Power

Progarchy Best Packaging, 2013: Big Big Train, English Electric Full Power.

Well, nobody’s probably really surprised about this being my number one of 2013. 😀 It’s a stunner and will be for many years to come! It’s the best album of any genre for me this year. Without competition.

So…that’s it folks. Outside my list of Top 10 you can find some that are very fine albums and would have made any Top 10 from any other year before 2012. Vienna Circle – Silhouette Moon, Days Between Stations – In Extremis, Johannes Luley – Tales From The Sheepfather’s Grove and Shinebacks fine album Rise Up Forgotten, Return Destroyed (added 20130103) are examples of albums bubbling just beneath position number 10. Then we find albums that I haven’t found the time, motivation or curiousness to listen to more than very casually at the best. Riverside, Airbag, Fish, Nemo, Maschine etc are among those bands or artists that I haven’t given proper attention as of yet.

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year everyone!

PS. Best prog-related and most fun and interesting experience of the year: Big Big Weekend 14-15 September in Winchester and Southampton!