Alela Diane announces new “motherhood” album “Cusp”

Portland, Oregon based singer-songwriter  Alela Diane has announced her return with a new album “Cusp”, the follow up to 2013’s “About Farewell”.  The new album is about the unspoken artistic taboo: “Have a baby if you must. But for goodness’ sake, don’t write songs about it.” (To be fair, it’s not so much a hostility to songs about motherhood, more a reaction to parents saturating everyone else’s newsfeed with pictures of their irritating children doing anything at all.  It’s ruined it for everyone.)  “This music is about motherhood,” Alela says of Cusp. “Even just by saying that, it feels like people will write you off. As women, our music is sold based on our sex-appeal. There’s a lack of spaces for women to move into that aren’t based on appearance. Those are conversations I’m interested in having.”

The album was written in January 2016 in a small cabin where Diane resided during a three-week artist residency at Caldera, Oregan, alone for the first time since becoming a mother. A broken thumbnail resulted in Alela’s signature finger-plucking being replaced by songwriting on a grand piano, resulting in the most piano-driven album of her career.

The weekend that Cusp was mixed in Los Angeles, Alela went into labour early causing severe complications with Alela almost dying during childbirth. “I have never felt so grateful to be alive as I do now,” she says. “I hope that by exploring motherhood in song, I can help demand respect for the life givers we are. Talking and singing about the experience of motherhood is not something I can shy away from. It is the essence of who we are as human beings. This album is my version of women’s work.”

When Diane releases Cusp in February 2018, it will mark exactly one year since her near-death, new-life experience. “Life and death meet in a cusp,” Alela says. “The two are intrinsically linked. My second daughter was born on the cusp.”

“Cusp” tracklist:

01: Albatross
02: Threshold
03: Moves Us Blind
04: Émigré
05: Never Easy
06: Song for Sandy
07: Buoyant
08: Ether & Wood
09: Yellow Gold
10: So Tired
11: Wild Ceaseless Song

Alela Diane UK Dates Winter 2018

27 Jan: Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow (Celtic Connections) – UK
28 Jan: The Mackintosh Church, Glasgow (Celtic Connections) – UK
29 Jan: Vondelkerk, Amsterdam – Netherlands (SOLD OUT)
31 Jan: St. Pancras Old Church, London – UK (SOLD OUT)
12 April: Union Chapel, London – UK

Author: Mark Whitfield

Mark Whitfield is the long-suffering editor of Americana UK, conceiving the idea in a dark room in 2001, although he ran out of words to personally review anything in about 2007.

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