With a deft flourish of piano keys and a trio of black-clad backup boys, Diane Birch appeared in our guest apartment and turned it into a dim speakeasy, a lounge brimming with velvet vocals and ethereal melodies. This is truly something you have to see for yourself. The daughter of a preacher man, Birch spent her childhood in Zimbabwe, exposed to choral hymns instead of shiny MTV videos. After moving to America and incorporating contemporary elements into her music, Birch has released her debut album, Bible Belt, and you bet she'll make a believer out of you.
Birch belts out old soul songs with passion, sincerity, and an uncanny ability to tap into something timeless beyond her young years. From the rich textures of her songs to her long dark hair and skill at piano, she may well be the second coming of Laura Nyro. But instead of singularly sixties songs covering shades of protest and unity, Birch weaves her vocals around songs inspired by Skype meetings and imaginary friends from the 18th century, and does it without a shred of irony. We were lucky to have Birch grace our studio with her presence, and we're excited for you to check out the Baeble video and share in this unique experience with a unique performer. Check out the link below.
We also spent a little time with Birch and her band, sitting down with the quartet for a few candid minutes. A few things we learned... Birch saw her band playing a gig, and knew that she wanted them. So she went up to them and said, "I want you." It worked out well for the piano playing, classically influenced singer-songwriter. She also talked of the start of her musical career and her unexpected discovery of her talent, a lucky incident that led her to the music she plays today. Her unusual understanding of the link between classical and pop music is yet another aspect that contributes to her unique style, all of which she discussed in our exclusive interview below.
Finally, learn a little more about Birch, in this behind the scenes and in the studio video piece. In it Diane lets us explore the world that allows the singer-songwriter to turn her songs from something played alone in a bedroom at four in the morning to a thirty five piece string orchestra arrangement. "I spend a lot of time in my head, and I'm trying to get out more," said Diane. Her escape is in her songs and recognized by the people she works with. They understand her universal appeal, her emotional expressions, her talent as a musician and what she has to offer, distinct from the rest of the world. Glimpse at the production behind her work, and its likely that you'll see the same presence to fall in love with. - Nina Mashurova and Laura Yan