Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Diane Birch with The Phenomenal Handclap Band "The Velveteen Age"

OUT NOW on iTunes for $5.99

Click here to purchase the highly anticipated EP

About "The Velveteen Age"

"Downright thrilling" (HuffPo) breakout singer/songwriter Diane Birch has teamed with fellow Brooklynites and "astronauts of progressive soul" (Guardian UK) the Phenomenal Handclap Band to record 'The Velveteen Age,' a seven-track covers collection set for December 7 release on S-Curve Records. Revisiting the soundtrack to her musical efflorescence, Birch puts her own seductive spin on songs by The Cure, Joy Division, Siouxsie & the Banshees and others. 'The Velveteen Age' was produced by S-Curve's Steve Greenberg with Sean Marquand and Daniel Collas from the Phenomenal Handclap Band; and mixed by Steve Greenwell. Birch contributed arrangements with Collas and Marquand, and played all keyboards.

"During my teenage years as a Goth these songs were amongst my nearest and dearest," says Birch, who appears in one of her vintage Victorian wedding dresses at age 16 in the photo on the EP cover. "Sitting in my bedroom with my headphones pressed into my ears till they hurt, each song gave me a weird kind of hope for my future. I would have never imagined I would get a chance to record them one day, let alone with some of my closest friends."

The daughter of a conservative pastor, Birch was only allowed to listen to church hymns growing up. She rebelled as a young teen by embracing Goth culture, attending her father's services in a floor-length black cape and vintage wedding dress, and listening to bands like Sisters of Mercy, Peter Murphy, and Echo & The Bunnymen. On 'The Velveteen Age,' Birch covers these and other artists with affection, exultation and a wicked backbeat courtesy of the Phenomenal Handclap Band.

The Velveteen Age was recorded in Brooklyn, between songwriting sessions for Diane's next album of original material. It follows her extraordinary debut album 'Bible Belt' (S-Curve/2009), which opened in the Billboard Top 100 and earned glowing reviews from The New York Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and more. Birch toured extensively and made numerous television appearances supporting 'Bible Belt,' including The Today Show, Letterman, and Ellen.

This Corrosion (Sisters of Mercy)
Kiss Them For Me (Siouxsie & The Banshees)
Bring On The Dancing Horses (Echo & The Bunnymen)
Atmosphere (Joy Division)
Primary (The Cure)
Tarantula (This Mortal Coil)
A Strange Kind of Love (Peter Murphy)