by Tiana Feng
Release Date: August 20th, 2013
Label: Paperbag Records
“Born Again” came out last July and was a major hit in the blogosphere. I knew then that the new Carmen Elle fronted project was going to be big. At every Toronto festival since, DIANA was one of the buzz bands to see. I had seen DIANA so many times that debut album Perpetual Surrender already seemed familiar.
There are only 8 tracks, and one is instrumental. Not quite electro-pop, not quite shoegaze Perpetual Surrender has both danceable (“Strange Attraction”) and atmospheric parts (“Foreign Installation”). “That Feeling” displays Elle’s smooth vocals in an array of bright synths. In “Perpetual Surrender”, sexy saxophone lines provided by Destroyer’s Joseph Shabason compliment sultry vocals which surrender to both the music and a lover. The deeper beats of “Anna” mixed with its filtered vocals remind me of the Arbutus roster’s, Blue Hawaii and Purity Ring. “New House” is calming and welcoming as if approaching a timid lover. The album ends with the instrumental “Curtains” which perhaps now soundtracks the “New House” couple making love.
While I enjoyed all of Perpetual Surrender, I think I wanted to hear some more new tunes after waiting over a year for the release of an album.