Photo: Preston Thalindroma
Los Angeles-based alt-rock outfit STARRY EYES recently introduced their single/music video, “Jetlag,” a track lifted from their forthcoming debut EP, Ciao Bella, whose title signifies a cusp of transition – saying a sad farewell to the beauty of yesterday, while at the same time welcoming the future.
STARRY EYES developed out of the deep friendship between John Shippey (guitar) and Matthew Scoggins (drums). The two musicians worked on Ciao Bella for two years, even as they searched for a singer to suit their sound. In 2021, they found singer and lyricist Kyle Tekiela. The band was complete. Three weeks later, Matt died of drug-related causes.
Two years after Matt’s death, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, STARRY EYES’ reawakening is realized.
Talking about the upcoming EP, John shares, “These songs are for people who’ve been through some shit — music is our catharsis. Many of the songs on ‘Ciao Bella’ wrestle with the issues of addiction and loss, but we always try to balance the negative with the positive and keep looking toward the future.”
“Jetlag” conveys the story of a person who finally achieves here-to-fore fantasized success, only to discover discontent and emptiness.
Kyle explains, “I grew up in a lower-middle-class suburb of Chicago watching movies and dreaming about moving to LA and producing films. I soon came to realize just how shallow and unfulfilling it really is. The dream of ‘dying in California’ is really a nightmare in this context, but you wouldn’t know it unless you’ve lived it.”
“Jetlag” opens on grungy guitars pushing out delicious power chords atop an enticing rhythm as Kyle’s evocative voice, tinted with musing tones, imbues the lyrics with wistful regret. The allure of the harmonics, at once gleaming and dripping with retro ‘90s flavors, gives the tune dreamy, pealing coloration rife with SoCal warmth.
“You know I quit my job ‘cause I wanted more / Got up and left this town because i’m numb and bored / Shock my heart don’t need no pills dose every night I’m chasing thrills gonna fuck this life like it pays my bills / I wanna die in California.”
Chockful of satisfying washes of sound and radiant vocal harmonies. “Jetlag” shimmers with luscious surfaces, hitting the sonic sweet spot.