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Riolanza embraces some hard truths on ‘Get the Feeling’

A side profile of a man with a beard and a crescent-moon tattoo near his eye set against a dark, moody background.
Rodney Johnson

Every week, Milwaukee Music Premiere connects the city’s artists with our listening audience. If you’re an artist with a track you’d like us to debut exclusively on Radio Milwaukee, head over to our Music Submission page to learn how.

Mario Lanza knows how to set a mood.

On new track “Get the Feeling” from his Riolanza project, the Milwaukee artist wastes zero time laying out the welcome mat for good ol’ darkness and embraces that feeling for the next 3 minutes. He got an assist in establishing that tone from Immortal Girlfriend’s Will Bush, whose synth line is the first thing you hear, giving it what Lanza called “a lift-off.”

In the interest of accuracy, the overall direction of the song doesn’t really scream “upward.” Its application of alt-R&B is downright sinister, which jives with the heavy stuff Lanza was wrestling with at the time.

“When I wrote this, I was really starting to feel and understand that people, places and things aren't permanent,” he said. “I was also feeling like I was a crutch to some people and that some people were a crutch for me — in love and in friendships — and I had really started to acknowledge that.”

Acknowledgement is exactly what comes across in the vocals. There’s no resignation in Lanza’s voice and maybe a touch of resentment, but it’s not over the top. Both sides of the situation he sings about seem dug in, and they’re both going to do their thing, simple as that:

See you got the ability to be in your truth
And if you wanted it so willingly you’d stay in the loop
But you choose to abuse the one who’s caring for you
You should get the reasons I’m still leaving

You can listen to “Get the Feeling” using the player on this page and on 88Nine, and it’ll be available on streaming platforms Monday, May 1.