Danielle Birrittella is a New England-born, Los Angeles, CA-based composer and singer/songwriter, who is arguably one of the more accomplished artists I’ve written about on this site — and as a result, she may have one of the more interesting backstories I’ve come across. Birrittella was raised on a Hindu ashram, where she sang ceremonial ragas as a child, which eventually lead to training and studying at New York University and California Institute of the Arts in opera and performing as an opera singer through the US and Europe — in particular, she’s lived and worked as an opera singer in New York, France and Italy, and has performed at Los Angeles’ Disney Hall’s REDCAT; Novafeltria, Italy’s La Musica Lirica ; New York’s Chautauqua Institution; Paris‘ La Main d’Or; Havana‘s The Ludwig Foundation among others. Throughout her travels Birrittella began experimenting with writing original music, frequently writing song fragments on a ukulele, which was gifted to her by her brother. Encouragement from those close to her, further reinforced the idea that the New England-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and composer should continue her creative path.
Writing and recording under the moniker Dia, Birrittella has began to receive attention for “Gambling Girl,” the latest single off her debut EP Tiny Oceans and as you’ll hear from the new single, Birrittella’s specializes in a moody and lushly orchestral baroque pop-leaning sound in which Birrittella’s ethereal vocals are paired with a subtly droning melody consisting of electric guitar, ukulele, cello and swirling electronics. Thematically speaking the material is inspired by a 12th century Romantic Kafiristan poem, in which the poet confesses to his love “since you love me and I love you, the rest matters not.” According to Birrittella, the message of complete surrender and martyrdom for love was a powerful one and it gives “Gambling Girl” a swooning urgency just underneath the surface, while sounding as though it drew from Mazzy Star and Kate Bush.
Directed by Robert Condol, the video is shot in a sort of dreamy series of flashbacks of a desperately and passionately in love couple on a ranch in sunset, riding horses and being romantic in front of a cinematically shot desert vista.