What does Diane sound like?
Underground French pop forming in someone’s basement.
The review of Diane – Secret
One of my favourite random finds online recently has been the French music label La Souterraine. They specialise in slightly oddball indie rock, world and electronica. If it’s part of the underground pop scene in France, they’ve got their mits in it. On her debut EP “Secret”, Diane mixes and matches synth Pop, electronica and alt-indie sensibilities that feel decidedly French.
Each track is heavily bass-driven but in a very different way. Most tracks also incorporate tuned percussion too. Sometimes it’s a toy piano, other times something more organic but mixing it together with jagged synths works a treat. Songs like “Mon Amour” and “Jardin” are playful and sassy whilst having a trash panda edge to the grizzly synths and beats. The charm is in the homegrown roughness of the production and heartfelt delivery. It reminds me of the indie pop scene circa 2002. Back then, melodies and grooves went hand in hand, nodding towards pop sensibilities but staying firmly in the artistic arena or being slightly challenging. “SI JE DEVAIS MANQUER DE TOI” is a great example of Diane’s take on this as the bass riffs, wiry synth and quirky drum machines make for a potent melting pot for her to sing catchy ditties over. Elsewhere Diane flexes her vocals into layered beats and instruments in “Sang”. Along with closing organ merry-go-round “Les Morts”, it’s the darker and more emotive side of Diane’s work. Not everything always lands but you can’t knock the EP for having plenty of ideas. By the restrictions of the EP format, you are rushed from jolly jolly to artsy vocal purrs and it is not the smoothest of rides.
Between twee and haunted we waltz through the bedroom pop thoughts of Diane that capture the mind. The darker side reminds me a little of Camile doing Silent Hill ballads. “Secret” is a solid start for an artist with a lot of ideas. I’m interested to see how the tonal differences could be smoothed out over an LP. If you don’t mind a few production quirks and being prepared to definitely be team happy or team sad first, then this is an interesting entry into French underground pop.
Recommended track: Mon Amour
Support Higher Plain Music
Higher Plain Music is part of the Higher Plain Network – a one-man indie media project. If you like what I do, please consider supporting me via Patreon for as little as $1/£1 a month. In return, you’ll receive additional perks for supporting me, such as behind-the-scenes content and free downloads. You can also donate using PayPal. Sharing the website helps too or using the affiliate buy now links on reviews. I receive a few pence per Amazon sale. All your support will enable me to produce better content, more often. I’d love to make this a full-time media network and your support can make that happen. Thank you.