Brighton-based singer/songwriter Paul Diello performed a rousing set at Brighton Pride in time for the release of his second album, Looking Glass.
The collection kicks off with the ‘80s-tinged single, ‘(I Am A) Voodoo Doll’, a creeping, almost hypnotic, track surely suitable for a late-night shimmy with the lights turned down low before settling into ‘Auto’ a crashing indie tune with evocative, and imaginative, sea-shanty vibes.
After a cracking opening, Paul, a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, turns down the bass for the acoustic piano-heavy ‘Same’, a stirring ballad blanched in reverb, before turning it back up for the moody ‘Rock the Boat’ and ‘Amaryllis’, a song evoking Boy George, vocally at least, with fizzy keyboards replacing George’s lilting bass.
By the midway point things mellow out a bit with two slinky R&B-infused numbers that could be deemed as filler. While ‘Thick Skin’, the stronger of the two, showcases Paul’s vocals, and his falsetto in particular, which melds effortlessly with the orchestral backing, ‘Butterflies’ is just a little too anodyne to really take off.
R&B dalliances aside, the colossal Anthony and the Johnsons-esque epic Whenever You May Find Her, which clocks in at just shy of 7 minutes, finds Paul flexing his songwriting muscle, back behind the piano, retrained, controlled and subdued before the thunder of drums and multi-layered vocals lead it to its ultimate conclusion.
Looking Glass by Paul Diello is out in September.
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