by Jo Hayward, OnlyReal Entertainment
With NXNE around the corner, it’s easy to decide what bands to see when artists like Coeur De Pirate, Social Distortion, and BIG BOI are on the week-long schedule. But when it comes to going out of your way to attend a gig where new artists and bands are performing, it’s a little more difficult. Going through the festival’s schedule, one band name caught my eye: DIANA. Newly signed to Paper Bag Records, the group is made up of members from Toronto bands Warm Myth, Bonjay, Destroyer, and Hidden Cameras, with Carmen Elle of Army Girls being the voice of DIANA. Checking out their SoundCloud, I was surprised to only see one song titled Born Again uploaded along with various remixes, including one by Doldrums. I didn’t hold that against them, as I played Born Again a total of seven times the first night I heard it. The soft voice of Carmen floating above the pop/electric ambiance makes for beautiful music. The birds chirping in the background is a nice touch.
DIANA doesn’t seem to have a “huge” online presence like most bands do these days, no matter though because magic can be found in a YouTube video of the band back in October performing at the Mercury Lounge for CMJ (an annual music festival held at venues in New York City). The song in the video, New House, is much slower than Born Again but is just as beautiful and hauntingly romantic. It’s hard to assume any trends for a band who’s released little music as of yet, but it seems that the songwriting behind DIANA’s music is nothing short of complex and human, laying out the complications of love and letting go. Reading all the positive reviews of their live shows and watching the video from CMJ last fall, I am putting DIANA at the top of my must-not-miss list for North by North East. Make sure you do, too… I have a feeling no one here will be disappointed.
Check them out Thursday, June 13th at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern at 10pm during this year’s NXNE. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for concert updates to keep yourself occupied until their first album drops later this summer on August 20th.