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Dia – Tiny Ocean EP Review

Meet Dia (Danielle Birrittella) and her debut EP, Tiny Ocean. Growing up on a Hindu ashram, Dia sang ceremonial ragas and grew up to perform as an opera singer throughout the U.S. and Europe. Her diverse background and well-trained voice have given Dia the vocal ability to produce great music and a finely tuned ear that knows how to craft a lavish production.

Short and sweet with only six tracks, Tiny Ocean gives listeners a taste of Dia — and it’s a taste that fans of Lana Del Rey will want to devour. Cinematic production and smoldering vocals on ‘Covered in Light’ would sound right at home on ‘Born To Die.’ Dia’s voice is higher, and she doesn’t have Del Rey’s husky croon, but she can take her notes further — and the parts of ‘Covered In Light’ that are spoken-sung sound like they’re right from the mouth of Lizzy Grant.

‘Synchronized Swimming’ is more upbeat in its production but retains the magical vocals that give Dia her charm. The 4:34 runtime is a bit unnecessary; such a length would be merited on ‘Covered in Light’ with its cinematic grandness, but the plucky ‘Synchronized Swimming’ seems to get a little lost at sea with so much time on its hands.

The EP’s titular track is even longer at nearly five minutes, and it tries to recpature the magic of ‘Covered in Light’, but ultimately has little to say. While the first song on Tiny Ocean was so superb, the two follow-ups are not bad…they’re just not as memorable.

The track, ‘Gambling Girl’ manages to meld together the lyrical depth of ‘Covered in Light’ with the dream-like production of ‘Tiny Ocean’ for an enjoyable, slow-mo lullaby. Watch the video for the track above.

‘Saint Paul’ halves the runtime of ‘Tiny Ocean’, and its all the better for it. Dia manages to say more on this track than the prior, and the instrumental still captures the illusory feel that Dia is aiming for with Tiny Ocean.

The EP’s closer, ‘Big Man’, opens with a twinkle, and there’s a glimmer of the magic that lies within Dia. ‘Big Man’ has distinctive lyrics and a recognizable production. Just as Tiny Ocean opens with a beautiful track, it closes with one, too. The difference between the two songs? ‘Covered in Light’ opens with Dia sounding like a wonderful Lana Del Rey demo, but ‘Big Man’ closes the EP out with Dia having her own sound that shares similarities with Del Rey but still manages to feel authentic and its own.

Purchase Tiny Ocean on BandCamp.

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Written by Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett is the creator and editor of POParazzi. He works primarily in Washington, DC. You can contact him at sam@poparazzi.org and visit his portfolio at sam-bennett.com.

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