|21 × 15 × 1.0 cm
The culmination of years of writing, ‘My Queen’ sees the return of a truly talented Australian singer/songwriter, Diana Anaid. Co-written with longtime guitarist Nathan Correy, ‘My Queen’’s 11 songs reveal the tremendous personal and musical growth of the artist with themes of endurance and transformation and was produced by ARIA award winner Steve James. Diana’s many and varied career highlights include US Billboard Top 40 hits, 5 ARIA Award nominations, 2 inclusions in the Hottest 100 and sets at the BDO, Falls, Vans Warped, Woodford and Byron Blues Fest.
CD review by Tony Smith
Diana Anaid has been around a while now, but has had long breaks from the hectic life of touring and recording.
One reviewer described her first album as ‘feral folk’, but this latest probably fits more neatly into the alternative rock genre.
Anaid would have ready audiences on university campuses and the pubs, where fans appreciate a singer-songwriter who regards lyrics as something more than a vocalisation of musical clichés.
Anaid has been compared to the likes of, Alanis Morisette and Kate Bush, but her vocal range includes little touches of many great female artists, and groups such as the Cranberries.
Anaid reckons that her great influences were the likes of, Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan, and says that she admires contemporary artists such as the Waifs and John Butler.
My copy of the album is presented in a sparse style.
The titles of the 11 tracks are printed on the CD, which comes in a minimalist transparent plastic sleeve.
This makes Anaid’s website essential reading for full appreciation of the music.
Mind you, even there, it is no easy matter to find information about the musicians supporting Anaid, the producer and mixer.
Anaid does not shy away from the role which trauma has played in her musical development.
She told the Newcastle Herald of the death of her mother before she knew her, and the years spent in foster homes and institutions, of the discovery that her beloved father might have had a hand in the flight from home that caused her mother’s death and the process by which a brother changed his gender.
Whether it was because Anaid soaked up the ambience in Nimbin, she obviously found a way to cope with these potentially devastating developments.
Indeed, there is a maturity and balance in these tracks which may owe everything to this personal history and her acceptance of her own identity.
Diana Anaid has played for an Adam and the Ants comeback tour and with the Whitlams.
She has supported worthy causes and helped raise funds for the homeless, animal rights and campaigns against domestic violence.
There is variety in these tracks.
As she herself points out, Anaid came at this album with patience, and the different feel of the various songs is one sign that patience has rewards.
Two standout tracks are, ‘Can’t Apologise’ and ‘Better Girl’.
In ‘Can’t Apologise’, she admits the need to follow your heart and sometimes this can cause disruption.
‘Better Girl’ is very much about identity and the social pressures which prevent us from being ourselves.
Anaid is currently on a ‘Better Girl’ tour.
Perhaps all singer-songwriters imagine how their tracks will sound, complete with the kind of accompaniment that seems natural for it.
Although Anaid might have created these songs with their eventual instrumentation in mind, folk audiences would no doubt dearly love to hear Diana Anaid perform without drums, bass and vocal echo, just with her guitar and her remarkable voice.
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