One by one enters the string-synth tones, the anchoring piano chords, distant percussive crashes and the gentle yet permeating vocal lead. In less than thirty seconds, DIASCIA creates a powerful and encompassing atmosphere of despondent storytelling.
Sparse chord tones are reinforced by plucky guitar melodies, dancing gently behind the voice. Filling the space between the slow entries of narrative phrase. With the introduction of almost-choral backing vocals, the instrumentation is slightly simplified, and the emotionally weighted lyrics are given space to take the lead. ‘…our dreams are dying flames…’ is achingly released with a descending staircase of diatonic melody. This captivating mix of voicing and performance continues to an abrupt break.
‘…oh why…’, we’re allowed a moment to ponder before the Tuneyards–esque vocal blend prefaces a portamento-heavy electronic lead break. Enter the second verse where we hear the evolution of each sound becoming increasingly present. The piano now busies itself with tense arpeggios emphasised by the bounding embellishments on the guitar.
Flitting hi-hats scatter back and forth in the stereo field, using the space as a playground to orbit the driving kicks and layered snare hits. The apparent rigidity of the percussion section offsets the organic feel of the piano/guitar combination for a satisfying blend of electronic and acoustic sound sources.
Never silent for too long, the bridge section winds down each element, as the complexity is counted out by the repeated backing vox ‘…no one knows…’ just barely a whisper under the sailing sustain of the lead delivery. Just as quickly returning to full presence, a rising melisma brings back the force of the song to one grand finale.
‘No One’ is a proudly modernised ballad, combining the dynamic vocal delivery and emotional lyrical content of an intimate piano performance with radio friendly and accessible instrumentation. All bound together, DIASCIA gives us a powerful and enjoyable story of heartfelt loss and struggle of love.
London-based songwriter and composer DIASCIA also contributes her work to film and television, having an intent focus for music within visual media. This South African-born artist draws influence from the likes of Kate Bush and Lana Del Ray.
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