San Francisco-based singer-songwriter Mike Deni, a.k.a. Geographer, scored a hit with the synth-pop song "Verona" back in 2010, and he later recorded an acoustic version at the Treasure Island Music Festival with one-time bandmates Nathan Blaz on cello, and drummer Brian Ostreicher. But it took a live-stream performance in the early days of the pandemic for Deni to record a fully stripped-down, solo acoustic version of "Verona," which was just released today.
Deni's voice is an ethereal, clear-toned tenor, and the stripped-down version of the song highlights this well — as well as the infectious melody and poetry of the song's lyrics.
Deni did a similar acoustic performance of the song as part of a fundraising effort for fire victims in the Santa Cruz area last fall. "Santa Cruz, if you've ever been there, is a very special place," he said. "I remember playing shows at the crepe place there at the very beginning of my career. And it will always hold a special place in my heart."
Now, we get a video and track release for the new solo version, which was taken from a live-stream that Geographer did in the spring of 2020. Compare and contrast this version below, with the Treasure Island/All Saints Basement Sessions version with cello and drums below that. As Earmilk writes, "While the [original] studio version was dazzling in its own right, this latest version provides a trance-like state of calm in a world that without a pandemic can sometimes feel like inescapable chaos."