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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DATE BREAKDOWN: Love Ghost

File Under: Grunge, Adult Alternative

Okay, so yes, I am two days late on this review. Real Bush League journalism over here. Is this even journalism? Do people still say Bush League? Yes.

As I stated in my previous post, I normally don’t just review songs free-floating in the digital ether, I prefer to discuss a band’s work under the guise of a cohesive album or EP. However, with Love Ghost I am simply doing the former due to an absence of the latter.


Love Ghost is a Los Angeles based band made up of 13-19 year old members, but you wouldn’t be able to tell just by listening to their songs. In fact, they sound more along the lines of Adult Alternative, especially on “Friday Afternoon,” a grunge song that could easily hit the satellite-radio era airwaves. The vocals sound quite mature and the instrumentation is executed with precision. “Forgive Me” adds a bit more emotion and exceptional viola skills, all with a youthier angst, but still falls in line with that Adult Contemporary Radio sound. “Mystery Box*” feels like a cover, but I haven’t found any evidence to that effect aside from the asterisk in the title that seemingly leads nowhere. It’s not a bad song, it just feels less connected to their sound. Here we ramp up the emo-sphere again, while gradually building urgency and vulnerability. Perhaps the only sign of their age lies in the vocals of “Mystery Box*” where the lyrics carry more life experience than the voice belting them into the world.

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Going on a blind date with the songs of Love Ghost:

3.75/5 stars

Week #20: Emailed Request 1 [Love Ghost]

While I was on hiatus, I received an email request to listen to and review random songs by Love Ghost. My initial reaction was hesitation, as the request accompanied a long description of the band and their sound. With the purpose of my blog being to go into these recordings blind, along with reviewing full cohesive releases, I found myself a bit conflicted. In the end, I’m flattered enough to get a request that I’m throwing caution to the wind. I mean, I haven’t actually heard it yet, right?

I was provided with 2 soundcloud links to new singles, HERE and HERE. My plan is to start with these songs and see what else I can dig up. Breakdown on Monday as usual.

DATE BREAKDOWN: Colorless – “Silent Gods”

Alright, my ears haven’t gone on a blind date in a while and I’m not gonna sugar coat it, it’s rough getting back out there. For a month I’ve lured myself into the comforts of my own music collection. So when Silent Gods jumped down the throat of my ears (I’ve been out of the metaphor game for a month too) I was a bit distraught. Kind of. See, Colorless leads Silent Gods off with a rather mellow instrumental track, before turning up the metal goth tortured soul theatrics. A nasty trick for someone who quickly hoped the whole album would be in a similar vein, and then realized “nope, this is exactly what the cover art led me to think it would sound like.” Honestly, just looking at that album cover is a better guide to whether or not you’ll like this album than anything I can possibly write here. 

The production of Silent Gods is quite good, the instrumentation is technical and well executed, but the vocals alternate between guttural screaming and melodic annoyance. To answer the question of whether or not I like Colorless, no, I don’t. Not particularly. The vocals test my tolerance level to a point I really can’t stand. The lyrics are hard to distinguish, but are definitely in English as opposed to Russian. As far as their importance I get a pretty strong Evanescence correlation, which is to say not very important at all. If this were simply an instrumental album, I’d likely rate it 50% higher than I will as is now. That voice just gets my goat. Oh, and there’s no reason to split up Colorless Oct. Part 1” and “Colorless Oct. Part 2” into two separate tracks. They flow together and would even perform better as one single movement. 

Not my cup of tea, but it’s certainly bound to be someone’s. That’s a testament to a well conceived album. I recognize it as well done, I’d personally just rather listen to something else.

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Highlights include: “In Three Steps”

You can listen to Silent Gods here.

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Going on a blind date with Silent Gods:

1.75/5 stars