An atypical post this weekend on popstonesheroes. We are taking you for a trip in sunny Italy for the latest release of a very interesting artist called L'Aura. She might not be well known worldwide but her style is definitely interesting enough to make her an absolute welcome here at popstonesheroes.
A brief introduction to the artist: she is very quirky in both personality and vocal performance, she rose to fame way back in 2005 with a song called Radio Star, in English, and then she debuted at the Sanremo Festival the following year with the (brilliant) L'irragiungibile. Her debut album Okumuki is an absolute gem that we might eventually present you later in the future on here. For now, all you have to expect is an artist who plays with her vocals and musical production in a very hipster-ish way and an amazing sense of humor.
So let's go back to the reason why we're here. Her latest album, the 1960s inspired Il Contrario dell'Amore, literally The opposite of Love. As usual in her discography, she mixes Italian and English according to unknown criteria and we are at peace with that. For the international audience, we are pretty sure no one will mind hearing some lovely Italian accent (do not expect any it's a-me a-L'aura! she knows how to speak properly.) and the beautiful Italian language, so do not be scared to press play on those Italian songs.
Let's start from those Italian songs indeed. One of the highlights is Cose Cosí, a soft and melancholic ballad, an absolute sweet love song. Oh! It's a beauty. A piano, some rhythm and a voice. Stripped but still a decent production. Definitely a must for all those romantic people out there (I was going to write girls or gurls but we want to be p.c. for once! Or at least we tried this time). Anyways. Tune.
But the next track is the treat. It is called Il pane e il vino. The first time I was listening to it, I literally had to stop at one point and went Girl, what did you just say?! The song is another kinda a big production mid-tempo. But the lyrics, people. The lyrics are the real gem. Now, you need some translation here. In the middle of her speech to her (ex?) lover she just drops the most amazing line we have heard in a while in pop music. There she goes: we had it all, but it was just nothing, I rather had some wine... while you wanted to screw other people (noi avevamo tutto, ma tutto era niente, io preferivo il vino e tu scoparti altra gente). Isn't this genius? It is. I mean, finally someone put those lines in a song. Preach, girl! Now, it's not all snap snap, ghetto gurl, she still sings about a lost love but that line just takes the song to another level. It's a big applause for us.
Let's jump onto the English side of the album. The feeling of 1960s is intense and delightful. The first single off the album, I'm an Alcoholic, is very light and bright. If you want to compare it to something, probably the closest reference in vibes would be the 2012 Italian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest by Nina Zilli, Out of Love (L'amore é Femmina). Very catchy and a really good example of the her signature sense of humor and vocals. We have a video for it!
Other highlights would include the ironic What Makes You a Man, Another Rainy Day and The Fear.
Pay attention to The Bad Side, although it is basically closing the album (the final track is the English version of an early track). This song shows a darker sound which is a reminiscent of her previous works, in particular her debut album. Very well produced in the music and vocals. The lyrics are also very poignant. Lots of guitars, she can rock, baby. And she's her to make it absolutely perfectly clear. Another tune.
So. She is freaking cool. This album is a great example of all she is. We are very happy she is back and she took time to make it a perfect release. Pity she didn't insert a lovely cover of Be My Baby transposed in Italian. She had recorded it long time ago to give the fans a hint of the 60s inspiration for the album. And then she dropped it. Why though? It would have fitted perfectly. Oh well. Whatever you say, girl.
It's a big applause from us. Give her a listen, people (and some coins?).