STARRY EYES tackles themes like addiction and loss on the first EP ‘Ciao Bella’

"It's is a sombre goodbye to the beautiful things in our lives that have passed, and a jubilant hello to the beautiful things to come.”
5 May 2023

Ciao Bella, is the debut EP from LA-based grunge-pop band STARRY EYES. On their 5-track EP, the band tackles topics like addiction and loss.

Ciao Bella is a small and surprising collection of grunge-pop and indie-rock music with a strong message. It is a question of overcoming difficult experiences, and for anyone going through similar situations, the EP can be a source of consolation and hope.

Phil Ek, known for his work with Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes and Mudhoney handled the mix of the self-made EP while Greg Calbi – a Grammy winner – mastered it. He has previously worked on music from Adele, Ramones and Paul McCartney.

STARRY EYES wants to make sure they don’t forget the past but also stay focused on the future. The band explains: “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 EP is a reflection of the band’s emotions following drummer Matthew Scoggins‘ death and singer and lyricist Kyle Tekiela’s journey from childhood dreams to the reality of the film industry’s slimy side.

The band has had quite the roller-coaster ride – with its fair share of highs and lows. It is both saddening and inspiring.

John Shippey (guitar) and Matthew Scoggins (drums) had an incredible connection and it’s thanks to them that the band is what it is today. They are the founding duo of the band and started the whole thing. John and Matt were eventually lucky in early 2021 when they found Kyle Tekiela, singer and lyricist. Unfortunately, things seemed very promising for their Los Angeles-based group for the next three weeks…until Matt passed away.

Ciao Bella starts with their first single, Jetlag, which is a thrilling song with catchy choruses and distinctive riffs. Despite his optimistic mood, the lyrics ironically warn us to pay attention to what we wish and to take a look at the shallow Californian dream.

Kickin’ Up The Dust is an energetic song featuring a mixture of bluesy beats and vibrant indie-rock vibes.

Over Oceans is melancholy, with beautiful guitar melodies and soothing vocal harmonies that remind us how brief life is.

The EP concludes with No Show and Crush. No Show with its combination of soothing voices and gritty lyrics is about Kyle’s issues with his father, Christmas was tough for him when his dad’s drug problems got really bad, so bad that they didn’t speak to each other for almost a decade.

Crush is all about Kyle’s bond with his dad and his struggle to get him into rehab. It’s set to a more powerful punk-emo vibe.

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.”