It’s been a while since we last heard from one of Italy’s most exciting bands coming out of the burgeoning psych/shoegaze scene in Italy over the last five years. Stella Diana have made a triumphant return with the shimmering and atmospheric single ‘Sleepless Girl’. Stella Diana excel in creating a chilling sonic architecture to their songs: haunting, brooding and filled with vast spaces and high vaulted ceilings.
The instrumentation and delivery circles with a dark and intense tone, creating a hypnotic reverie that ends in a dreamy outro fading out into the ether. Hidden deep in the genetic codes of the track is the gothic side of The Cure (found embedded in ‘Faith’) with the sombre, steady pace and the hint of dread and foreboding that is both mesmerising and delicious.
The lyrics are cool and enigmatic with a stately presence:
She sleeps alone and around is darkness
she looks but never closes her eyes
whatever she thinks, there is a distance
whatever she says, there is a distance.
The accompanying video captures the chilling, dissociated tones, mixing scenes of a girl walking through autumnal forests with the band in performance, tinged with a rosy texture:
‘Sleepless Girl’ is the first single off Stella Diana’s awaited new album ‘Nothing To Expect’, set for release on 22 February 2022 via Vipchoyo/A State of Flux Records.
The band says of the new album:
In this new album we tried to create the soundtrack of something that ends, something that can never be again. The air you breathe is something ultimate, something that puts an end to everything. The sound is dark, sinister, evocative and compressed, very compressed. The first single, Sleepless girl, absolutely represents this atmosphere. The mood is rarefied and full of reverb.
Named after the ancient name of planet Venus (Morning Star), Stella Diana were formed in 1998 in Southern Italy’s city of Naples by Dario Torre (vocals and guitar) and Giacomo Salzano (bass guitar), joined by Giulio Grasso on drums.
Feature Photograph: Oriana Spadaro