The Voice Gracefully Trapped In Time

Diane Birch singing her originalValentino from her 2009 debut Bible Belt.

I first heard Diane Birch on her episode of Daryl’s House. Alas, Episode #24 is no longer in the archive at Daryl’s House, but their set can be reconstructed from the wealth of her videos on youtube.

For example:

Being a sucker for 60-70’s revivalism in, as I guess it makes sense to say, ‘younger voices and hands,’

Ms. Birch made mad progress between her plucky moves to LA and NY, the release of a 2009 debut stocked with nothing but original songs, and the session with Daryl Hall and his great house band. Myself being an old timer, she reminded me (in 2010) sonically of the squaring of Carly Simon and Phoebe Snow, and feel-wise of classic-period Elton John (1970 would be the marker year.) Plus, she writes terrific songs, putting her in the league of fellow revivalist and Daryl’s House alum Grace Potter and popster Feist.
Her new record (iTunes) is terrific and is also daring in its ambitious attempt to successfully capture the ambience of the 70s/80s historical turn of hippie pop, urban soul, and classic FM rock into the wall-of-sound pop music–think Tears For Fears and Prince–that did not itself largely manage to survive all the way past the upwelling of punk and disco.

What music were you listening to for inspiration while making Speak A Little Louder?
DB: I was listening to everything from Siouxsie & The Banshees, Depeche Mode to Peter Gabriel and Tears For Fears and ’80s David Bowie — that whole Nile Rodgers era. A lot of the same references I had for Bible Belt — sort of the adult contemporary music of the ’70s and ’80s, I’m a total sucker for! I love Phil Collins and I love Annie Lennox. It ends up sounding probably a little more genre-specific because my songwriting style is pretty influenced by the classic style of songwriting from those eras. I’m just not that influenced by Top 40 radio songwriting right now. You know, I hear it. I get it. But I just do what I do and I gravitate to the things that I like. (full interview)

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