And There Was Light
In August 2010 Belladonna hole themselves up in a tiny rehearsal room to start working on a brand new selection of Rock Noir songs penned by Belladonna's two songwriters, the luscious singer Luana Caraffa and the band producer/guitarist Dani Macchi. It's the conception of their much-awaited third album: 'And There Was Light'. In November the band flies to Los Angeles to the legendary Stagg Street Studios (the vintage studio of many classic recordings of Patti Smith, CSNY, Tom Waits) to record totally live, with no click tracks, all playing at the same time, just as in those classic Led Zeppelin records of a bygone era. With the invaluable help of engineer Mike Tacci (Metallica's 'Black Album') and of Grammy-nominated producer Alex Elena (Alice Smith, Lily Allen) the band puts onto tape the incendiary takes that form the rock-hard foundation on which in the following months Dani and Luana built the emotional architecture that makes 'And There Was Light' such a unique-sounding yet timeless record. The album is a true journey, over on hour of high-intensity music that seamlessly gravitates between echoes of Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan-style allegories, White Stripes blazin' tones, Blue Oyster Cult's esoterism, Arcade Fire's romanticism and Jimmy Page's passion for the blues-tinged and spiritually malevolent guitar riff. Yet it's sound is that unmistakable Belladonna-patented Rock Noir - the genre they single-handedly originated and that many bands the world over now swear to - and Luana's vocals are as sensual and sexual as ever, making the deeply literary lyrics come alive with Truth. Several prestigious guests enrich 'And There Was Light': the above-mentioned Alex Elena (former drummer with Iron Maiden superstar Bruce Dickinson and Miles Davis keyboardist Adam Holzman) on percussion, Massimiliano Annibaldi (the renowned Italian film soundtracks composer) on the theremin and the viola da gamba, Imani Coppola (the cult NY singer-songwriter recently in the UK top 10 as Little Jackie) on the violin, Francesca Bottaro (of avant-garde pop combo Shootin' Stars) on the sax and the L.A. art-rock Diva Ruby Friedman with a spoken-word feature. 'We've always felt our music had a cinematic quality to it, yet once we finally completed 'And There Was Light' and treated ourselves to a full playback of it all we were absolutely amazed ourselves of how deep it's power of conjuring up moving images was' reveals Dani, and Luana adds poignantly: 'We've always known that writing and making music is akin to Automatic Writing, and we truly feel that we only channeled this album, that it already existed somewhere in some as-yet-undiscovered dimension and it then materialized through ourselves, full of energy, and full of light'