Ava Della Pietra Releases Stunning New Single
One smoky and gentle, the other sharper but just as emotionally powerful, the vocals that Ava Della Pietra juxtaposed with the sting of the guitar in the background collectively contribute to the new stunning single “worst of times” are something to behold in their own right, but when brought together in the beautifully melodic ballad presented to us here, they make for one of the most affectionate and intriguing pop harmonies of the fall season. Della Pietra and her grooves seem like a match made in heaven in this piece, and while it’s recorded primarily under the indie pop umbrella of aesthetics, the tone is just as credible in her performance. There’s a lot of good pop music hitting record store shelves this season, but for my money, this is absolutely among the very best new tracks on either side of the dial this month.
Della Pietra takes a very tempered approach to the lyrics here that the tempo of the verses contrasts with something more clandestine and understatedly subtle, but the commonality between these two seemingly conflicted elements has a lot less to do with aesthetical foundations and most everything to do with urgency. As much as it feels like they’re on a mission to get a message of compassion unto us, there’s no rushing the narrative’s verses in their execution and thus no ramshackle feel to the harmonies that unfurl from the silence ever so slowly. It took patience to construct this the right way, but luckily for us, this is a musician who knows exactly what she is doing when it comes to composing, arranging, and producing a premium pop tune.
I love how balanced the master mix is here, and while it’s true that there aren’t a lot of instrumental elements to juggle, there’s still a striking tonal difference between the vocals and the guitar that had to be carefully adapted to sound good in a stereophonic single. The way this was produced, it feels more like Della Pietra is singing to us in an intimate club somewhere rather than from within the four walls of a cramped recording studio. She doesn’t have any interest in making a stock pop song in “worst of times,” and if this weren’t the case I don’t think she would have gone to such extensive lengths to keep this material sounding as crisp and unadorned with needless fluff as possible.
Indeed, I’ve always been a picky pop fan, but in the year 2023, I think that everyone who loves the music of the emerging pop underground should be given the diversity the genre has come to embrace in the last decade. Ava Della Pietra is not among the only artists trying to score points with both the mainstream and alternative press and audiences right now, but what makes this pool of talent stand out is their dedication to ironing out minor details and intricacies others might overlook when crafting an original pop ballad. Theirs is a mature sound for sure, and if this ends up being the only song I hear from this player before the year is over, it would be a shame for pop fans and those who appreciate the complexities of the genre alike.