This is the latest full length release from Italian shoegaze outfit Stella Diana. Basically the music here sounds like a melting pop of The Cure, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, and Ride (is any higher praise even possible). The band capture the airy shoe gaze atmosphere while also achieving a deep dark post-punk under layer. The result is truly amazing as the different elements manage to meld and complement each other to create a big and all encapsulating sound. The music slides seamlessly from calm ambient sounds to heavy and energetic rock with the two extremes complementing each other!
The album opens with the deep sounds of ‘Sofia’. The music moves along in a slow fashion soaking up it’s surroundings in a gradual but steady fashion before taking on a raw grungy feel. The hazy thick atmosphere takes you off into the clouds in a hypnotic fashion. ‘M9’ brings in a faster and more intense drum beat and heavier guitars which is offset nicely by some echoing vocals, together they create a lively and energetic shoegaze experience. ‘F.U. Orionis’ brings in a dark and menacing post punk feel reminiscent of Joy Division or The Cure’s early work. This gives the song a bleak yet vivid soundscape full of eerie energy that powers along. ‘Sulphur’ is a creepy and chilling tune, with all manner of weird sounds making you feel like you are wondering around a haunted forest at night. This is curiously contrasted by poppy Beatle-esq vocals that strangely work in adding to the nervous atmosphere.
‘Psychedelic furs’ (possibly a tribute) sees the dark and moody sounds reach their peak and would not look out of place on the Cure’s Faith album. ‘Ded’un’ continues the dark gritty soundscape but brings in a louder, and much heavier exterior. The album closes with the placid yet chilling sounds of ‘J Carpenter’. The faint and chilling sounds gradually build in volume and intensity to ensure a roller coaster finish to the record!
This is the sort of album that you should sit back to, play really loudly, and just let the sounds wharf over you. The band find a balance between heavy and dark post punk sounds and chilled out shoegazer atmosphere creating something that is simply amazing. Again, a melting pot of The Cure, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, and Ride!
Check out Stella Diana’s website to find out more!