Postcards from Prato

Shannon Livewell

Dee Lei: Italian Song Meets Classic Alternative Metal

This week, my Italian class here in Prato took a trip to PIN (Prato’s main University). While there, we received a tour of their college radio station, and I inquired about any Italian bands that had their demos in the studio for me to review for all of you.

The staff gave me a large selection to choose from, and I took them home to listen to one by one. The first CD I put into my computer was that of a band called Dee Lei, that signed with Rogues Records a year ago.

I took Italian throughout high school, so coming here I had a general idea of the language, but I am not nearly as fluent as I’d like to be. Even without knowing the language in its full entirety I was able to really connect with the music. They have a Creed meets 3 Doors Down, post-grunge, alternative/metal sound that makes you not need to know the full meaning of the words to feel the emotion behind the music.

The band is from Prato and was formed in 2008. James “Bebo” Crocicchi sings the lead vocals and has amazing way of conveying the depth of feeling in each song. Marco Sabatini is featured on guitar and backing vocals and harmonizes perfectly with Crocicchi. Alessio Campanale on drums and Nicola Beneventi on bass finish off the four-piece band.

“The basis for all of our lyrics and the inspiration they were created by came at many different moments,” says Marco Sabatini in a Rogues Records interview two months ago. “…in the car, on lunch breaks, in the middle of the night, there’s no real specific moment…it just happens.”

My personal favorite song off of this self-titled album has to be “Sogno Di Volare,” which translates directly to “Dream of Flying.” The song without being translated has the feel of a break-up ballad, backed with heavy bass and amazing guitar lines. However, after asking around here in Prato, I learned that the song talks about a man who is in a relationship, but in love with someone else.

The crazy thing about discovering music in a different language from a different country is that you fall in love with a song or an artist by the melody, the harmonies, and the actual musical elements of the song.

This is a new experience for me because I am so used to becoming a fan of a band or an artist by not only their sound, but what they sing about. Once the music of Dee Lei was translated for me, it all made sense at a much deeper level.

I think if you’re adventurous when it comes to music, or a big fan of bands like Shinedown, Hinder, Theory of a Deadman, or Nickelback, you’d love the music of Dee Lei. It may be hard to get your hands on in the states, but is a great place to listen to some of their music off of their new album.