Listen uP: Diane Birch

6 07 2009

I have a love/hate relationship with female singers. For every bad ass soul sister or indie rock goddess, there are two pop tarts dressed in half shirts and hot pants, singing about lumps and humps and whatever other idiotic topic can fit into a three minute dance mix. So this month, with a little guidance from clients and my good friend, Entertainment Weekly,  I’ve set out to find some chanteuses with a little meat on their bones.

If you were to take Stevie Nicks, Tapestry-era Carole King, the ladies from Heart and maybe Norah Jones and throw them in a blender with a little Cat Power added for flavor, the result would be the brilliantly talented Diane Birch. But instead of sounding like a mishmosh of her own influences, she still has a sound that’s all her own (deep throaty growl that lifts effortlessly into a pure soprano). I sampled a few of her tracks on iTunes and remember being impressed but it wasn’t until I was walking through the West Village, listening to her debut album Bible Belt in its entirety, that I was truly captured by it.

This is a cd about heartbreak but it remains optimistic. The first track, Fire Escape, brings me back to my Williamsburg days, drinking $8 bottles of Chianti with my roommate Jen on our (yes) fire escape, praying that our 30’s were going to be better than our 20’s (and yes, they are). Valentino, probably the most poppy, hook laden of the lot, is a sweet summer jam. Rewind, the power ballad, recalls a yearning 70’s tune of the Rumours genre, while Photograph aches with regret of a lost love (“I can’t erase the look on your face/Guess I’ll be spending the rest of my days/Waving tomorrow goodbye a tear in my eye/Nothing can bring back that feeling”). Despite one or two clunkers, the album flows seamlessly and ends with a glorious Magic View.

Faves: Fire Escape, Photograph

Skip: Don’t Wait Up

For more about Diane, go to






4 responses

7 07 2009

Did you see this on her website?
July 25 2009 4:00P
Roosevelt Island-NY, NY
Free Show

7 07 2009

She writes all parts of her songs & gives recognition to people that help her. I’ve been meaning to look her up and glad you chose to write about her. Thank you once again.

7 07 2009

Jen, I saw that Roosevelt Island show but unfortunately I can’t make it because I’m working. You will love this cd. Put it on the ipod and just take a long walk on the beach.

9 07 2009

You know I will.

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