Alela Diane: To Be Still (Rough Trade, 2009)
Alela Diane is a true great among folk artists. She has found some masterful way to make this highly artistic music so easily accessible. As you well know, I’m a rather simple man and my problem with folk chanteusses often is that eventhough I appreciate the artistic value of it, I just find myself getting bored in the long run. Joanna Newsom is a prime example. As much as I would like to love her, I just have to admit that I don’t. But Alela Diane. I love her. That acoustic beauty of the songs. Those amazing vocal melodies. Like hugs wrapped around your heart. To Be Still is her second album and more than half of it is really wonderful folk music. Especially Every Path, Take Us Back, To Be Still and The Ocean are treasures that have taken the form of a song. If I want to complain about something than I have to say that soundwise it’s a bit too clean and polished for me. Therefore my folk album favourite of the year is still Haruko’s Wild Geese, because that home recorded beauty feels a bit more rural and alive.