DIANA is now a four-piece band that hail from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and this is their debut full-length – it came out on Jagjaguwar here in America and Paper Bag Records in Canada. When I went to find if this was written about in our catalogue, I came up surprisingly empty-handed! I’m a bit late to the DIANA boat, but I suppose that’s obvious as I’m only just now writing about this. Carmen Elle’s soft and smoky vocal work in combination with Joseph Shabason (who’s lent his saxophone smithery to many an artist in Canada, including Destroyer) and Kieran Adams’ instrumentation delivers unto us a delightfully glacial throwback pop album. The minimal album artwork helps set the 80s/early 90s modale with its mix of flamingo pink, light blue, black and white.  Songs such as “This Feeling” and “Born Again” are sure to get themselves lodged in your thoughts and they’ll have you go back for more after you’re done. Perpetual Surrender, on the whole, is extremely cohesive and delivers you from beginning to end enthralled in its narrative of love and redemption effortlessly. I feel extremely horrible for just now checking them out and reading about them for months and months. I’ve linked to the Paper Bag store because it specifies that this is limited (however, not how many), while on the Secretly Canadian distribution site it has nothing to say about quantity or color from what I can tell. Check out the Spotify stream of Perpetual Surrender below and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details


DIANA, Paper Bag Record's newest signing, is Toronto's Joseph Shabason, Kieran Adams, and Carmen Elle (Paul Mathewhas since joined to round out the live show). After meeting at music school, Shabason and Adams lent their instrumental skills (saxophone and drums, respectively) to many bands in Canada, including Shabason's recent contributions to Destroyer's excellent Kaputt and subsequent touring. Their debut full-length album of original music, Perpetual Surrender, and will be released on August 20th, 2013 in Canada.

After writing and demoing on an August trip to a lakeside cottage, Shabason and Adams went into the studio with engineer and co-producer Roger Leavens. They asked that Toronto vocalist Carmen Elle come in to try singing on a track. Both Kieran and Joseph had seen her perform in groups around the city and thought her voice might add something special to the songs. This was a massive underestimation. Regardless of who wrote these songs, the lyrics and melodies belonged to Elle the moment they escaped her mouth, each nuance of phrasing and melody deepening the sentiments put forth. With the last puzzle piece in place, it felt right to give the project a life beyond the studio, and DIANA had begun.
Though there are glances to music past and kinship with music present, there is a new school-feel to the affair. DIANA comparisons defy eras; from Roxy Music to Royksopp, from Style Council to Glass Candy, from Sade to Studio. Though they're happy to be in this good company, for the members of DIANA, it seems that the point is pushing things forward. Be it the dense ambient swell that begins the album opener "Foreign Installation" to the embryonic bliss of instrumental closer "Curtains," there are stories and sounds that will leave you wondering whether it's best to stare at the ceiling and let your mind dangle in the atmosphere, or to pull yourself and move your body to the churning rhythms. The choice is yours, DIANA won't judge.

1. Foreign Installation
2. That Feeling
3. Perpetual Surrender
4. Strange Attraction
5. Anna
6. Born Again
7. New House
8. Curtains

Price $21.99

Listen on Spotify

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