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Vincenzo Torsiello Drops Hot New Single: ‘Garbage Boy’

| Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Theresa Tulsiak | The Observer

With so much couch-time, folks across the country have been spending much more time inside enjoying music and art. Up-and-coming musical artist Vincenzo Torsiello, on the other hand, has been making it. Last week, Torsiello released his first punk-rock infused jazz single “Garbage Boy” on streaming platforms everywhere.

Stuck indoors but committed to making new music, Torsiello has converted his home into his own personal studio. “I have a bunch of equipment in my house because my dad was and still is a professional musician,” Torsiello told me during a phone interview.

Without a band, Vincenzo plays every instrument you hear on “Garbage Boy” one at at a time: “I play seven instruments,” Torsiello tells me without any fanfare during our conversation. “I started with percussion — that was my first introduction to music.” 

Torsiello’s wide exposure to a variety of musical styles and instruments is readily apparent. In fact, the most immediate and engaging element from his track is the blending of genre and musical influences. When asked, Torsiello compared his “sound” to “pushing a piano down the stairs and having it clatter around for a while, and then, finally it land[ing] standing up straight.” 

This energetic clattering can be attributed to the combination of two of Torsiello’s loves: punk rock and jazz. “Punk rock and jazz,” he says, “are two of my favorite genres of all time, and in my songs I often joke that my style is called ‘junk’ because it’s jazzpunk.”

The “junk” genre— a term I dearly hope catches on— is yet another example of Torsiello’s versatility. The artist’s interests are just as varied: “I’m influenced by a lot of people!” he tells me. “Billy Joel for sure, The Beatles for sure. As far as Jazz goes I love Wes Montgomery, he’s a jazz guitar player…I’m also a Ben Folds fan…and there’s bands like Paramore and lots of punk rock bands I really enjoy.”

Besides the punchy and unpredictable fusion of jazz and punk rock, the most memorable part of Torsiello’s single is its lyrics. Torsiello’s unique phrasing viscerally transports the listener into a dirty world of trash and inspiration, acceptance and rebellion. It is indeed a world of: Kicked cans, dumpster fire/ Yes ma’am, I feel inspired/ When I’m feeling like a Garbage Boy/ When I’m feeling like a Garbage Boy.”

Torsiello taps into a woeful sense of loss and abandonment with lyrics that are simple, yet vivid: “Guess I’m no fun/ Furniture, but I’ll sit in your corner, sure/ Cobwebs crawling…/ Yard sale, no space for me, you put my price too low/ Oh well. You can sell me, but I’ll never let you go.”

It is easy to see Torsiello’s unique voice and  attention to detail in every aspect of his songwriting. When our conversation turned to meaning and interpretation, I asked Torsiello what ‘Garbage Boy’ was ultimately about.

“It’s a lot of things,” he told me, “But mainly what I boil it down to is-”

“Garbage”— I couldn’t resist. 

“Well, yeah!” he agreed to my surprise. “It is garbage! And what that means is every single person — no matter who you are or how you may seem — has experienced some form of crippling inadequacy. Like, just having a moment where you feel as though everything you do is trash. What ‘Garbage Boy’ is about is that feeling. That feeling of just, ‘I feel terrible, but I’m going to lean into it’ and lean into because maybe I can be garbage and be okay… sometimes it just takes a little bit of that screaming and hitting all of the black keys on the lower end of the piano— to hear that sound it makes when they all mix together.” 

I couldn’t agree with the description more, and I recommend the track to anyone who has an interest in jazz, punk or new, bold music in general. Torsiello plans to release new singles as soon as next week, and to release a full-length album sometime this summer. This listener can’t wait to see what Torsiello does next!


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