|Alela Diane — About Farewell (2013)
Alela Diane — About Farewell
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
Album release: June 24, 2013 (Europe, Australia, NZ)
Record Label: Rusted Blue Records
01. Colorado Blue 3:30
02. About Farewell 3:21
03. The Way We Fall 5:04
04. Nothing I Can Do 2:25
05. Lost Land 3:26
06. I Thought I Knew 2:09
07. Before The Leaving 2:56
08. Hazel Street 3:10
09. Black Sheep 3:53
10. Rose & Thorn 3:10
Press contact: US: ⌊ UK ⌋ France/Europe: | Australia/NZ:
Agent North America: | UK/Europe/Australia:
Label: US: Rusted Blue Records | UK: Believe Recordings UK | France/Europe: Believe Recordings | Australia/NZ: Spurnk
Ξ “I heard somebody say that ‘the brightest lights cast the biggest shadows,’ so honey, I’ve got to let you go, I’ve got to let you go”. Chantonne l’élégante chanteuse Folk ALELA DIANE sur le titre « About Farewell » issu de son prochain album du meme nom, qui sortira le 24 juin en France chez Believe Recordings et aux USA sur son propre label Rusted Blue Records. « About Farewell » agit comme un adieu éloquent aux amours des années passées, les textes évoquent souvent sa récente séparation mais l’album explore toutes ses relations avec honneteté et une perspicacité assez nuancée. Ses chansons sont sombres et poignantes de vérité, mais brille toujours avec la poésie qu’on lui connaît. La voix chancelante d’Alela nous envoute, et cet album est construit autour d’elle et d’arrangements simples de guitares. ALELA a dit ses adieux, et il est maintenant temps de dévoiler la nouvelle femme, une femme entiere et métamorphosée." (source: FNAC)
Ξ Un superbe album, évidemment recommandé. (Et un grand merci a mon ami Lcr!)
By James Reed | Globe Staff | June 24, 2013
⇓ The most devastating thing Alela Diane sings on her new album — and there are many — goes like this: “I heard somebody say?/ That the brightest lights?/ Cast the biggest shadows?/ So honey, I’ve got to let you go.”
⇓ That comes from “About Farewell,” the title track of Diane’s new album, which addresses the heartache and renewal that trail a failed marriage. After a pair of records that amplified her aesthetic more along the lines of rustic country, her latest is a return to simpler forms, a testament to the power of an acoustic guitar backing an artist with something to say (and with a voice you’d expect from a saloon singer). || Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers. Link: (http://www.boston.com/)
© Copyright 2013 Globe Newspaper Company.
By Jon Young | Mon Jun. 24, 2013 3:00 AM PDT
⊗ It’s amazing how many artists on today’s indie scene are old~fashioned folk musicians passing for someone trendier. California’s Alela Diane has been making haunting, out~of~time albums (sometimes self~released) for a decade, and About Farewell is one of her most powerful. After enlisting producer Scott Litt of R.E.M. fame to provide a poppier veneer on her last outing, Alela Diane and Wild Divine, she’s back to minimal frills with this brooding collection devoted to rejection, regret, and misguided desire.
⊗ Despite occasional sweetening from strings or piano, these eloquently downhearted ballads, perhaps inspired by her real~life divorce, would be equally potent with just guitar. Diane has „one foot out the door“ on the eerie title track, while, on the elegant „I Thought I Was Wrong,“ she observes, „I’d only just arrived and I foresaw the end.“ The spare „Hazel Street“ finds her confessing: „I woke up drunk on that basement floor,“ implying a far seedier reality than her restrained performance would suggest.
⊗ About Farewell might be mopey solipsism coming from a lesser singer, but the grave beauty of Diane’s voice transcends self~indulgence. Like the great Sandy Denny, she conveys a stoic intensity that’s consistently spellbinding.
Album Review: Aesthetic Magazine | Toronto, Canada
Alela Diane Provides Emotionally Complex New Album With ‘About Farewell’
By: Laura Stanle. Editor rating: Score: ★★★★
ψ “And then you headed east and said her name, I read between the lines,” sings Alela Diane in the opening track “Colorado Blue” from her new record About Farewell, out June 25 via Rusted Blue Records. One of the many emotional and revealing lyrics from the Portland songstress, About Farewell is Diane’s most personal record to date, creating one of the most poignant records you will hear this year.
ψ Primarily tracing Diane’s emotions as she goes through a divorce and the subsequent next steps in life, she matches her vulnerability in each of the ten songs with a sparse acoustic instrumental accompaniment, a return to this familiar sound after abandoning it in her previous record, 2011’s ?Alela Diane & Wild Divine?. Where her first two releases, 2006’s The Pirate’s Gospel and 2009’s To Be Still, let Diane’s honey~like voice — with the perfect amount of country twang — do most of the talking, while Alela Diane & Wild Divine featured a beefed up version of her band taking on a fuller Americana-style sound.
ψ While Diane restored a solo approach to her music, About Farewell isn’t without some additional accompaniment, the heightened emotions are all the clearer. The simple piano, acoustic guitar, and strings combination of the previously mentioned “Colorado Blue” introduces the record’s story. Illustrating snapshots of the simple moments between a couple, a lyrical component which continues in the later track “Hazel Street”, “Colorado Blue” climaxes with a breathless heartbreak as listeners learn about the reason behind Diane’s crumbling relationship.
ψ The first single, “The Way We Fall”, is the fullest from the record. Sounding more like a Wild Divine track, the hearty drum beat adds extra power while the soft touch of the flute allows the varying parts of the song to transition with ease, at one point echoing the melodious hums of Diane’s for beautiful results.
ψ In a slight lyrical shift, both the title track and “Nothing I Can Do” refuse to dwell on the end of a relationship but instead look to the future. At one point in “Nothing I Can Do” Diane sings, “honey, there is nothing I can do to save you from yourself,” another mark of the intimate lyrics and the cathartic experience occurring.
ψ Featuring more soft instrumentation in the second half of the record, the waltzing beat of “I Thought I Knew” effortlessly carries About Farewell to new heights while the percussion heavy “Black Sheep” creates one of the more melodious songs on the record.
ψ On the cover of About Farewell you see a mirrored image of Alela Diane — where the two Alela Dianes are looking, is the only thing that sets them apart. Not seeing eye to eye with lids half closed, the image appears to be examining itself and is lost in thought. Displaying, in turn, the introspection of the album as a whole, About Farewell is emotionally complex and showcases the full breadth of Alela Diane’s talents.
Essential Tracks: “Colorado Blue”, “The Way We Fall”, and “I Thought I Knew”.
∇ ...So croons the elegant folkstress Alela Diane on the title number from her forthcoming record, About Farewell. Over the last year, Alela has finished recording and mixing this new album, to be self~released in the summer via her own label, Rusted Blue Records.... It serves as an eloquent goodbye to lovers from years past, coupled with some poignant last walks down memory lane. While the lyrics deal most directly with her recent divorce, the album explores her entire last decade of relationships with tremendous honesty and nuanced insight.
∇ To call the experience “cathartic” would almost be an understatement — for Alela, this was a record which direly needed to be made. In the writing process, she was able to lucidly articulate her emotions about her marriage, a process which led her to realize the necessity of ending one chapter of her life in order to begin a new one. Her art helped to guide her, as ever, along the proper path. The process of writing and recording About Farewell cemented her intention to say a firm goodbye. Yet in releasing it — surrendering it to the world — this songbird can find new levity with that weight off her wings. She’s flying towards what the French call l’avenir — the “yet to come.”
∇ These songs are somber and achingly truthful, yet always glimmering with her exquisite poetry. In these new songs, Alela’s staggering voice is able to take center stage, as she’s turned away from the full band that she last employed with Alela Diane & Wild Divine. The entirety of About Farewell was built around her voice and simple guitar arrangements. With an unprecedented level of creative control, Alela could explore her own ideas for harmonies and melodies and create a wholly unique piece of self~expression.
∇ While the record is a step forward for her in this way, it also represents a return to her roots as a songwriter. Hailing from Nevada City, CA, the homespun charms of her origin place have never left her. Alela’s first record, The Pirate’s Gospel, featured hand~drawn and hand~sewn sleeves. It is this handcrafted DIY aesthetic which is revisited anew, both in her decision to self~release the album, and in her self~possessed approach to recording.
∇ Alela laid much of About Farewell to tape with John Askew at Flora Recording Studios in her current home of Portland, Ore, in late 2011 and early 2012. Over the course of 2012 she enlisted the help of some very talented friends to flesh out the sound: Heather Broderick (Horse Feathers, Efterklang, Loch Lomond) arranging and playing piano and flute, Holcombe Waller arranging strings, and Neal Morgan (Joanna Newsom, Bill Callahan touring bands) playing drums. In early 2013, she finished mixing the album with John Askew at Scenic Burrows and Mix Foundry.
∇ We find these stripped~down folk songs to be a perfect vehicle for Alela’s impressive emotional range. She’s able to convey heartrending vulnerability at one moment, then bold wisdom and unflinching directness at the next. Nowhere is this palette so rich as in the live shows, an intimate treat for audiences lucky enough to catch her this year. In the season of spring, the heart has thawed and we turn to the promise of budding possibilities. A once~heartsick Alela has said her farewells, and now is the time to meet the new, more fully actualized woman.
|Alela Diane — About Farewell (2013)