Alela Diane + Olivia Chaney, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12 April 2018

Alela Diane’s set on her UK tour’s opening night draws largely from her latest piano-based album ‘Cusp’ along with songs from her 2009 gem, ‘To Be Still’.  The Union Chapel, a functioning church in the heart of Islington, is a perfect setting for the quality of her work performed tonight in a trio format with Diane accompanied by gifted and polished multi instrumentation from Mirabei Peart and Heather Woods Broderick. They cover piano, flute and oboe, percussion and particularly violin and upright bass. They also provide wonderfully haunting echoic background vocals to counterpoise Diane’s dazzling singing. Continue reading “Alela Diane + Olivia Chaney, Union Chapel, Islington, London, 12 April 2018”

Alela Diane “Cusp” (All Points, 2018)

Since her last album in 2013 (About Farewell) Alela Diane has remarried and given birth to two daughters. We mention the daughters as Cusp is, above all, an album about motherhood, even the album cover can be seen as an update on Whistler’s Mother. Diane sings of her own experiences as a mother while some songs are written from a mother’s perspective. She’s moved on from her early days when she was linked to the freak folk movement, Cusp is an assured and mature set of songs. Continue reading “Alela Diane “Cusp” (All Points, 2018)”

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.” Continue reading “Alela Diane announces new “motherhood” album “Cusp””