Album Review: io sto con il diavolo – la paura di darsi

Io sto con il diavolo (in English, ‘I’m with the devil’) is an Italian acoustic folk duo who have just come to my attention thanks to their album la paura di darsi.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Roberta Di Lorenzo

Io sto con il diavolo named themselves for a reference to Robert Johnson’s Me And The Devil Blues and if you like his kind of obscure folk then you’re going to find a lot to love about la paura di darsi. It’s a collection of eight emotional tracks, delivered in an exciting and fresh way.

The album opens with Tema a scuola and a dreamy mix of plucked guitar and twinkling percussion. Soulful vocals are poured on, giving the track strong sense of relatability, even when singing in Italian. E’ qui is lively and has a touch of Americana about it. Valvonauta is a gentle acoustic folk number.

La paura di darsi simmers with a grungy rock energy. Non c’è is a soft, trad-folk-infused ballad that rises to an emotional climax. Sogni appesi provides a late album highlight with its raw intimacy and half-sung, half-rapped vocals. Finalmente Liberi provides a burst of folk energy before a live, unplugged rendition of La paura di darsi closes the album.

There’s really not much else out there like io sto con il diavolo. The range of genres on display in La paura di darsi is mind-boggling, and they are able to borrow from traditional folk without losing any modernity in their sound. All the while there’s something universally human about they’re creating.

Io sto con il diavolo are singer-songwriter Cristiano Neila and guitarist-songwriter Danilo Congiu. Support comes from Cristiana Petrillo on percussion, Gianmarco Bellumori on drums and Noemi Colitti on accordion, keyboards and theremin.

You can give la paura di darsi a listen below.