March 01, 2011

EP Review: Diana Pops - For Bright Minds in Dark Corners

Canadian singer/songwriter Diana Pops makes a provocative and promising first impression with her recently released debut EP, For Bright Minds in Dark Corners.

With her own rich piano playing at the forefront, she draws on rock, classical and melodic-pop elements to evoke a warm, sullen vibe, giving the four songs on this disc a unifying, austere distinction. Likewise, her voice is impassioned and in rendering some rather introspective lyrics, as in the opener, 
Light My Cigarette, she compares to the likes of Rachael Yamagata or perhaps Sarah McLachlan circa Possession.

Clearly Diana Pops takes the craft of songwriting seriously, and as a result these tracks tend to come across as sophisticated, soulful compositions. 
The End Begins makes for a fine example of this, as the artist engages a cadenced, almost trance-like rhythm with flourishing piano accompaniment. Most impressive and affecting, though, is Silver Ship, a tour de force which starts out like a sonata and builds—gradually incorporating strings and percussion along the way—toward a powerful resolution that is at turns epic and intimate.

And so even at its brevity, this set reveals an intriguing, gifted artist with an encouraging future ahead. Highly recommended.