18 February 2014 (gig)
22 February 2014
New York's Italian-American Ariana Di Lorenzo, 24, is a proud advocate of easy to access electronic pop tunes. The style of Ariana & the Rose can be described as both synthetic and danceable, but without being a slave to either, and her melodies have instant appeal. Refreshingly, they hold no pretence of complexity. Her music has been played for the catwalks at Paris Fashion Week and at the after party for Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way Ball’.
It was interesting to see how she would adapt her tracks to such an intimate setting as the Little House members club in Mayfair. As the members lounged on velvet sofas, sipping aperitifs and ordering their food in a side room of the club, Ariana & the Rose set up in a small corner by an upright piano. Listeners gathered cosily around the set, perhaps not aware of Ariana’s portfolio of electronic pop club tracks and numerous remixes. But they were perfectly safe. We were presented with a demure and cutesy Ariana in a floral, vintage dress, with a charming presence, and her acoustic band settled snuggly behind her.
The translation of the synth tracks to the live, acoustic style was remarkable. The uniformly dark-haired men armed with guitars, percussion and upright piano produced a rhythmic, and very tight, folky set. Despite Ariana’s endorsement of melodic electronic pop, the execution was impeccable, making it clear that she is not advocating pop for any idea that it might be the easy option. There was the sultry and teasing single In Your Bed, as well as other tracks from her forthcoming EP Heart To Heart.
That said, the vocals held their pop stance working as an interesting compliment to the band. The style matched the catchy melodies and the lyrics which stuck firmly to the themes of heartbreak and love lost. Again, Ariana came into her own in her adaptation to the close setting. She perfectly adjusted her voice without compromising tone or quality, and keeping a convincing amount of expression despite having little space in which to do so.
Her voice seemed to come into its own without the lyrics, with some inventive harmonies and rhythmic moments. The evening included a cover of Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy, which also showcased Ariana’s capabilities both inside and out of the electronic pop genre.
This review was carried out for David Spencer by Rosie Sells.