To Be Still

Alela Diane
Rough Trade

It’s not that it sounds bad; Alela Diane has that Bon-Iver-only-a-girl/Joanna-Newsom-if-she-could-really-sing quality that is certainly appealing. It’s not that it’s poorly produced; London’s Rough Trade Records, which gave us The Raincoats, Pulp, Belle & Sebastian and James Blood Ulmer, doesn’t mess around. It isn’t even that it’s boring — To Be Still has the requisite mournful violins, quiet guitars and echoing vocals that come with the New Weird America territory. In a word, it’s that it feels, for each and every moment, fake. Alela Diane seems to be the psych-folk version of the preppy kid who goes to college, gets a Mohawk and swears up and down that she’s always been a punk.

way off base

By jmenig
I had to laugh at Kirsten's review of Alela's "To Be Still". Seems like if a reviewer can't find something tangible to critique, they tend to reach for some intangible aspect to find fault with. However, in the review above it is quite obvious that Kirsten overreached in her conclusions that there is a fake quality to the recording. She even presents an analogy of a preppy going punk. Here's the problem....Alela is as genuine in her life and her art as any performer alive. How would I know this? She's my niece and I've known her her entire life. When she writes her lyrics they are stories of her life....not some made up fantasy. Every song on To Be Still tell a story out of this young woman's life.....maybe this is hard to believe if you are jaded, but it is the actual truth. Alela was raised in a country home with no TV and with parents who would play music and sing endlessly. She is about the least affected and most genuine person I've ever known. What you see is what you get. So as far as this review goes, it couldn't be more inaccurate and misleading.