Friday 4 December 2015

Stella Diana - Alhena

Article by KevW

Italian band Stella Diana have been around since the late 1990s but have only recently been on our radar. They appeared on 'REVOLUTION - The Shoegaze Revival' earlier this year and also contributed a cover of 'Leave Them All Behind' to a Ride tribute album, so the shoegaze tag is one that's undoubtedly stuck to them, and their music certainly fits that description. There's more to them than that though, and they cite post-punk and new-wave bands including Joy Division, Psychedelic Furs and The Chameleons as influences. Surprisingly, this new EP also contains a cover of faux-hippy revivalists Kula Shaker's hit 'Govinda', and while its a relatively true version, the extra washes of guitar distortion improve on the original.

Their own compositions on 'Alhena' take the tradition shoegaze blueprint and run with it though, especially single 'Shohet' which hits you from the opening second. No being able to speak Italian, they could be singing about anything, but it sure sounds good either way. 'Caulfield' eases off the throttle but retains that classic sound and some nicely winding guitar lines light it up, as does the lofty chorus, and 'Bill Carson' follows suit with a less full-on approach and some similarly nice guitar touches. There's a slightly different vibe to 'Mira' which sees Stella Diana moving away from the sound of the rest of the EP - but only a little bit. The fuzz soon kicks in before backing off again to let their new-wave leanings have a piece of the action, if only a small one. It's another great song and goes even further towards showing us what a great, and somewhat untapped in the UK, shoegaze scene currently exists in Italy.

Alhena's website

Stream or buy the EP

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