Diane Birch – Bible Belt

July 19, 2009

dianebirchNew York based musician Diane Birch, with her fine debut album Bible Belt, joins that burgeoning group of artists who have been shining a new light on old school funk and soul. While funk and soul has long been an inspiration for hip hop, rap and electronic music, artists like Birch, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, and Amy Winehouse (when she’s actually performing) have been creating entire records of music that draw directly upon one of the great American musical forms of the 20th century. Birch, who sounds a bit like Carole King with a similar fondness for piano based music, takes a modest, unpretentious approach to soul, with sometimes remarkable and powerfully beautiful results, as on tracks like “Photograph,” one of my favorite songs on the album. The production is often lush, but not overblown, and the lyrics are warmhearted, direct and insightful. Birch is a real find, and hopefully her refreshingly subtle approach to music will find a wide audience. Standout cuts: “Fire Escape,” “Rewind,” “Photograph” and “Ariel.”



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