Music from the Heart

An Early Bird - Diviner

Growing up in Naples, south of Italy, Stefano De Stefano (this is the name behind the project) cut his teeth on the Italian music circuit with a local band before going solo: the debut album „Of Ghosts & Marvels“ was released in October 2018 followed by the EP „In Depths“ in September 2019. An Early Bird has been touring extensively across Europe sharing stages alongside artists like Joshua Radin, Jake Bugg, S. Carey, Stu Larsen, Grant-Lee Phillips and Dan Owen. The album „Echoes Of Unspoken Words“ (2020), featuring a bunch of songs of which some have been included in editorial Spotify playlists, continues a path of exploring that has progressively moved the songwriter from the early folk sounds to a richer and multilayered sonic dimension. With the pandemic making touring impossible, this album has had a short life, so the idea to record a new one has come suddenly but with urgency. It was the hour of birth of "Diviner", the artist's third album, which was produced by Stefano Bruno. On this album An Early Bird stops being afraid of showing his pop side when creating folk songs.

The acoustic guitar and piano are the driving forces of the album. There's melancholy in the songs, enhanced by An Early Bird's plaintive vocal. However, you won't be sad listening to these songs, they are somehow uplifting despite what may seem at a first glance. Some of the songs such as Holding Onto Hope or Fishes in the Ocean were released as singles prior to the album.

Opening with Help Me Shine, a delicate ballad that sets the tone for the rest of the songs. Starting gently, developing into a pop anthem suitable for a big stage and then slowing down again, this song indicates the singer's versality.

Bad Timing continues in the same mood, bittersweet listen hugely open to listener's interpretation. Atmospheric arrangement suits the lyrics where the singer talks about his feelings and the relationship that's finished. We all have been there and there's a mixture of feelings connected to that. This song captures it all in both words and music.

The opening lyrics of One Week  "If I only had one way to live" carry certain resemblance to Colin Vearncombe's song What Makes a Fool but that's the only similarity you'll find. This song is hugely nostalgic, talking about retrospective and you get the uneasy feeling the singer isn't in fact comfortable with his own situation and want to make a change, not sure what's the change going to be.

Go All Out lets the artist's guitar skills take the lead, accompanied by the piano and creating a mellow ballad where the characteristic vocal shows all its colours. The message of the song is positive and encouraging whoever hears it not to be affraid of opening up (see the line "let go of all the walls my friend").

Mulholland Drive brings the movie by David Lynch of the same name to mind. The opening sequence has a cinematic arrangement, the rest is based on the guitar and drums with a piano adding more colour here and there.

Quite a lot of songs on this album talk about love in various stages and from various angles and Under My Skin is no exception. Not too sweet, with the epic stadium-like instrumental part towards the end. The album closes with Angela, one of those most vulnerable songs on this album. Intimate, raw. You're just not sure about the outcome of the song, whether it's happy or sad, most likely something in between.

Diviner is a collection of delicate songs wrapped in evocative folk arrangements linked by longing for a romance.

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