Niia's second album La Bella Vita sets its scene immediately: her voice is a soothing escape from the hell of the outside world, the tinkering of pianos and the soft patter of its drumming a comfort in the darkness.
But if you start unraveling its layers, and as the beats get more skittish, and the soundscape more twisted, as the journey begins to unfold, it turns out that Niia's world is not ideal, nor beautiful. Niia grew up a classically trained pianist and was obsessed with acrobatic vocalists and jazz: from Mariah Carey to Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald to Sarah Vaughn. There's been a decline of diva belting, of assured showy singing in favor of a hipster airiness - but it's coming back around. Coming from an Italian family with very strong music roots, Niia had grown up surrounded by classical musicians including her mother who taught piano from home. In LA where she's based, there's an element of tongue-in-cheek irony to her now. It's in the album title, in her demeanor, in the juxtaposition of rage and loss of faith in love with songs that are both soothing and sorrowful. She was dealing with the dissipation of a long-term relationship here, but she doesn't seek to emerge the victor or the wronged – her perspective is far more complex than either and her stance as a modern-day jazz singer makes her the perfect vessel to explore these facets.