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Daughter of a traveling preacher, former teenage Goth Diane Birch releases her intriguingly titled solo album, Bible Belt, today.
From the opening track "Fire Escape" to the closing "Magic View," her voice - sometimes bursting with buoyant spirit, sometimes plaintive and world-wearied - is rich, soulful and beguiling. Written entirely by Diane and expertly produced by Grammy winners Steve Greenberg, soul legend Betty Wright and Michael Mangini, Bible Belt's been described by Rolling Stone as, "Amy Winehouse-style retro pop, minus dysfunction... Her voice is strong and fetching... "Fools" conjures Carole King, "Nothing But A Miracle" echoes Aretha...the melodies stick, and girl's got taste."
As for the album title, Diane explains, "the very religious upbringing I had made a huge impact on my life, in a very restraining and constricting way. I'm constantly talking about heaven, angels, and forgiveness. I'm hugely inspired by church hymns -- their chord structures, their colors. It was a form of constraint for me as a child but now I see that it has fueled my creative fire."
Stream tracks from MySpace