LA Grunge-Pop Band STARRY EYES Release Debut EP ‘Ciao Bella’
LA grunge-pop band ‘STARRY EYES’ release their debut EP ‘Ciao Bella’, The self-produced EP was mixed by Phil Ek (Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes and Mudhoney) and mastered by Multi Grammy-award-winning engineer Greg Calbi (Adele, Ramones, Paul McCartney). The EP follows the successful release of their previous two singles ‘Jetlag’ and ‘Over Oceans’.
Throughout the 5 track EP, ‘Ciao Bella’ (Hello Beautiful/Goodbye) sees the band explore themes of addiction and loss. With one eye focused on the future and another acknowledging the past, STARRY EYES looks to balance the negative with the positive throughout the EP. The band explains further “As the title suggests, the EP is a sombre goodbye to the beautiful things in our lives that have passed, and a jubilant hello to the beautiful things to come.”
The story of the California grunge-pop band, STARRY EYES, is both tragic and triumphant. The band evolved from the deep friendship between founding duo: guitarist John Shippey and drummer Matthew Scoggins. The pair worked for two years on the music for their debut EP, Ciao Bella, while on a frustrating search to find the right singer to complement their unique sound. John and Matt eventually struck gold in early 2021 with singer and lyricist Kyle Tekiela, and for three weeks it looked like the LA-based group was complete. Then, Matt died suddenly of drug-related causes, and the band’s ambitions came to a tragic halt. Today, more than two years after Matt’s death, John and Kyle have soldiered on and the band’s story is a powerful rebirth narrative.
‘Ciao Bella’ opens with the band’s debut single ‘Jetlag’ an anthemic offering that lures the listener in with its sugary hooks and power chords while behind the songs sunny disposition lies a satirical commentary of ‘be careful what you wish for’ under the backdrop of the Californian dream. ‘Kickin’ Up The Dust’ follows, a dynamic track that infuses elements of foot-stomping blues sections and jangly indie-rock sensibilities. ‘Over Oceans’ the sophomore release utilises a sombre tone, the band crafts a delicate soundscape of bright guitar arrangements mixed with tranquil vocal harmonies that warn of the fragility of life. The final two tracks are ‘No Show’ and ’Crush’, with ‘No Show’ featuring dreamy vocals juxtaposed by the nightmarish lyrical content about Kyle’s turbulent relationship with his father, depicting a flashpoint of his father’s drug abuse one Christmas that lead to the end of their relationship for nearly a decade. ‘Crush’ outlines the next chapter of Kyle’s relationship with his father outlining the experiences of attempting to put him through rehab, backed behind a more notable punk and emo backdrop.
Kyle explains further: “’Crush’ and ‘No Show’ are explicit in their exploration of the worst kind of drug abuses. I remember Matt hearing the songs for the first time and being very quiet.” Kyle says. “After his death a few weeks later, it really hit home that there are so many people out there who can intimately relate to these experiences, but we may not even know their struggle. I hope that by opening up and talking about them, we can find some way to heal.”
The culmination of heartache, loss and rejuvenation, ‘Ciao Bella’ is a catharsis release, not just for the band but for anyone going through similar struggles.