White As Diamonds
Label: Rough Trade
Alela Diane's sophomore record is more confident, visceral and sure-footed than her debut. You hear it immediately in "White as Diamonds," a tune accompanied by an unvarnished violin line, a syrupy backbeat and a dramatic descent of strings that adds to the great emotive punch of her alto. With careful choices in orchestration, the record is shaped and shaded by these dynamic decisions, from the wistful shuffle of "To Be Still" to the relentless drive of "The Ocean." Diane's agile voice needs little assistance to inspire chills on "Tatted Lace" or "Lady Divine."