Breakout Toronto Bands: DIANA

Breakout Toronto Bands features local artists that we think you should give a listen to.

Who are they?

DIANA are made up of Carmen Elle (Army Girls), Kieran Adams (Warm Myth and Bonjay), Joseph Shabason (Destroyer), and Paul Mathew (Hidden Cameras). Kieran, Joseph and Paul all went to U of T together attending the school's jazz program and their musical careers have twisted and turned around one another's for years. DIANA is basically an extension of a project Kieran and Joseph started — and had reluctantly been providing the vocals for themselves. Around fall of last year they hooked up with Carmen through mutual friends, and the chemistry was instantaneous.

"The original demos are pretty heinous — it's Kieran and I singing on the stuff," Joseph explains. "It was very apparent we needed someone with a beautiful voice and we had heard Carmen singing in bands over the years and knew that she was great...so we just called her up and asked if she'd come to the studio to demo stuff. She took our stuff and did her own thing which made the songs really come to life."

They sound like...

Blissed-out hazy summer days. Think chillwave (shudder), think what Washed Out may sound like filtered through the late 70s / early 80s. And of course Elle's vocals elevate whatever inane genres and comparisons one can make to something unique. Fact is, I've had "Born Again" stuck in my head since the moment I heard it and continue to wake up to it cycling through my brain. Comparisons can also of course be made to the member's other projects (Destroyer in particular comes to mind) but as Joseph points out, "we consciously decided to think freely, to not be attached to any previous sound — so it was definitely a rebirth."

Hear them / see them

DIANA currently only have two songs available for listening on Soundcloud and one very recent video of a performance at CMJ. As for their full length? Although the recording was finished in July you won't see it on the shelves until sometime in Spring 2013. "We're trying to be really patient to find a really good home for the album and hopefully in the long run it's better for everyone," Joseph said of the delay. In the meantime expect a 12" release of "Born Again," including a remix by Doldrums, to be released on Forest Family Records very soon.

Despite their sparse presence online and around town (they've barely played a handful of shows) the buzz around DIANA is getting louder and louder and no one is as surprised as they are. They're playing their first major Toronto show tonight at The AGO alongside Laurie Kang's visuals and again next Friday the 9th at The Great Hall for Fucked Up's first installment of their Long Winter series. You should go to there.

Photos courtesy of the band

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Music

Toronto's Rehearsal Factory might be sold to controversial church and people are upset

Deceased Toronto musician sits behind drum kit at his own funeral

The history of the Rivoli in Toronto before it was a bar and live music venue

Tickets to Bad Bunny concert in Toronto sold out and it may not even happen

Scotiabank Arena in Toronto has a lineup of concerts scheduled for later this year

Toronto rapper criticized for filming music video atop war memorial

Even virtual concerts are now banned under Ontario lockdown rules

Toronto record store permanently closing and people in the city are heartbroken