Another Free iTunes Single of the Week: Alela Diane’s “Dry Grass & Shadows”


Last week’s prediction: I hear the new Animal Collective is pretty good…

Nevada City is a Denis Johnson-type Northern California mountain town whose chief economic/cultural export is hippies, more or less: Joanna Newsome, Gary Snyder, Utah Phillips, Terry Riley, and the 25-year-old Adela Diane. This is where, as a parent, you go if your plan has a lot to do with Carter Family-inspired child-rearing/kitchen-singalong singing; as a child, you leave as fast as you can, until you choose to return and reclaim your heritage and make a folk record in your dad’s recording studio. Your sophomore record marketing plan? “First 50 Orders Include A Personalized Bag of Tea From Alela.”

To Be Still‘s “Dry Grass & Shadows” is a not unlovely bit of pedal steel and shuffling percussion, Diane’s voice a register or two less arch than Diane Cluck or Marissa Nadler, and solidly plaintive. Someone unkind might say this is what the New Weird America sounds like when you’ve been told you’re living in it since you were a little kid; I’d merely point out, as Diane does, that at least she’s not Joanna Newsome.

In Scotland, you can make not just a Christmas card but a music video in those fake-bandit sepia tone colors/clothes:

Next week’s prediction: 4-5 dudes gunning for that U2 money.

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