DATE BREAKDOWN: Dia – “Tiny Ocean” EP

File Under: Experimental Indie, Pop Adjacent

Greeted with a little more information than desired when going into a musical blind date, I knew that Tiny Ocean would be “experimental indie,” not to mention quality enough to be “produced by Joey Waronker of Beck, Atoms for Peace fame.” Those quotes are straight from the emailed request I received, and although going against my policy of knowing nothing about the date I’m about to embark on, I was so fucking flattered anyone gives a shit enough to email me a request, that again, I let it slide. [Is that the right number of commas? I gotta go back to school, man.] Besides, I know jack shit about who Joey Waronker is, and my only real knowledge of Beck is that Lance Hahn (see: the fucking greatest, may he rest in peace) played guitar for him on occasion. So I guess nothing was really spoiled and I should stop being all butt hurt about arbitrary rules that last time I checked I made up. Yeah, checked again, I made that shit up. So I digress…

Dia, aka Danielle Birrittella, is clearly an accomplished opera singer. Her technique I’m assuming is flawless, but not having a shred of knowledge on the subject other than what does and doesn’t make me wince, I’m just going to go ahead and say 100%, fact checked, yes, flawless technique. The most similar sounding artist I listen to of my own volition from time to time would probably be Sara Bareilles, but that comparison isn’t exactly fitting. There’s an unsettling tone underneath Dia’s beautiful vocals, something dark, and in its own way also beautiful that exists outside of the Bareillesphere. In fact, the impending dread slowly creeps in from the subconscious of Tiny Ocean, showing itself the most with the mesmerizing  closer “Big Man.” It’s in Dia’s superbly finessed layering of sounds that the tide of this tiny ocean comes rolling in, washing away any and all distractions. Like an intimate, almost inviting wall of sound, these six songs transcend the human experience and leave me completely and utterly relaxed.

I’m not sure what else I could say to better serve these recordings, so I’m going to suggest that you dip your ears into the Tiny Ocean if you haven’t already, but more importantly that you really sink yourself in.

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Highlights Include: “Covered In Light,” “Tiny Ocean,” and “Gambling Man

You can stream Tiny Ocean HERE.

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Going on a blind date with Tiny Ocean:

4.75/5 stars

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