Alela Diane is a young singer songwriter from Nevada City, California now living in Portland, Oregon. She is usually associated with Mariee Sioux, another Nevada City native, or with English singer Vashti Bunyan. While she has now changed over a more Folk-Rock sound with her third album, Alela Diane used to put forward the almost anachronistic image of a woman from a bygone era. The sepia portrait of the singer posing as a North-American native look-alike on the cover of her first recording The Pirate’s Gospel (2006) definitely underlined that perception.

Alela Diane The pirate's gospel
Alela Diane – The pirate’s gospel (2006)

With her characteristic warm and melancholic voice, she sings about nature and the elements, family…or ghosts. Cello-backed, atmospheric and slowly building up to a bluegrass-style fiddle solo, “White as diamonds” is a striking song which comes from her second recording To be still released in 2009.

I’ve known mornings
white as diamonds
silent from a night so cold
such a stillness
calm as the owl glides
our lives are buried in snow

some hearts are ghosts settling down in dark waters
just as silt grows heavy and drowns with the stones

Alela Diane To be still
Alela Diane – To be still (2009)