Saturday, December 04, 2010

Diane Birch, with The Phenomenal Hand Clap Band

Diane Birch (with The Phenomenal Hand Clap Band) cover some of my favorite songs from the 80's and early 90's on their EP The Velveteen Age. It's funny--I never thought of her style matching these artists' music, but it totally works. She brings an earthiness to these somewhat ethereal songs.
No, I am not the girl from Zombieland. Quit asking me that!


"Kiss Them For Me" (Original artist: Siouxsie and the Banshees)

"Bring on the Dancing Horses" (Original artist: Echo & the Bunnymen)

**If you look to the right on the Soundcloud page, there are more tracks, including Peter Murphy's "A Strange Kind of Love"**

Diane Birch's Website


This Corrosion (Sisters of Mercy)
Kiss Them For Me (Siouxsie & The Banshees)
Bring On The Dancing Horses (Echo & The Bunnymen)
Atmosphere (Joy Division)
Primary (The Cure)
Tarantula (This Mortal Coil)
A Strange Kind of Love (Peter Murphy)

OMG OMG OMG She does "Atmosphere". That song always makes me cry, and I usually shut myself in my apartment for a few days after I hear it. So you may not hear from me for awhile. "Tarantula"! One of my favorite This Mortal Coil songs!!! OOOOHHHH. I wants this now. It comes out Tuesday, Dec. 7th.


Anonymous said...

I discovered Diane Birch serendipitously. I had gone to a charity show at a small Manhattan space and she was supposed to support the lead act, a soloist, who gave way to Diane. I was overawed by the amazing voice coming out of this slip of a girl and the infectious, up-tempo pop that she and her band hammered out. I have seen them more than a handful of times. On stage, her voice is even bigger and better than on record.

I declare another horse in this race. Joy Division are my favorite band. LWTUA my favorite song ever and Atmosphere isn't too far behind. I regard poor covers of their material (and, frankly, that would be just about all the covers ever made from Paul Young to Nouvelle Vague to NIN to The Killers) as sacrilegious shit.

So, I was more than anxious when I downloaded this EP.
She reinvents "Atmosphere" as an up-tempo, exuberant, gospel-tinged song with almost no trace of the original sadness and melancholy. Her trademark organ and choir-like backing vocals give it more than a hint of a religious revival. I should hate it.. But I don't. In fact, the opposite. I can't stop playing it. It's quite brilliant and her voice as amazing as ever. Somehow, I feel Ian would have approved...

Lola said...

Nice comment! Thank you!

It'll be nice to hear "Atmosphere" and not want to hide in a void for a year :)