Diana Darby
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Diana Darby

Band Alternative Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Creem Magazine Review - Richard Riegel"

What if they freeze-dried the '60s and nobody came? That's the feeling this album conveys, some lost essence of the Fab decade uncluttered with myth and nostalgia. Fantasia Ball sounds like the teenage Marianne Faithfull's first two albums, if all the Brit studio orchestration were drained away and that little bird was left with only her plaintive voice and a guitar to get by. Diana Darby's second album, recorded at home on 4-track, is just that dry and pretty and endlessly insinuating. She's based in Nashville, where ice tea comes presweetened if you don't ask, but this music isn't—it's spare, minimal, just Darby's softly disquieting vocals and guitar (with subtle, occasional backups from cello, drums, etc.) speaking slim & infinite volumes. "My Own," a dark confessional of family strife, has gathered much attention so far, but I like the forever-changed neo-samba of "Summer," the resigned hedonism of "If It Feels Good" (the squares'll be worried), and Darby's methadone-acted vocal on "Happy" even better. After 10 fine Darby originals, the album ends with a cover of the perfectly-chosen 1965 Rolling Stones tune "Blue Turns to Grey," bringing the Marianne Faithfull soul of Fantasia Ball full circle: Mick Jagger (in his jaunty sailor suit) sang about the easy-rolling blue, but Darby (as Faithfull before her) deflects to the sterner passion of the grey.

- Richard Riegel, Creem Magazine November 2003 - Creem Magazine

"No Depression – Roy Kasten"

Largely recorded at home to four-track cassette, Fantasia Ball is a trembling confession murmured to shadows, sighed from the psyche, and hummed in harmony to the silence. To speak of records as therapy conjures all the wrong associations, but like the deepest therapy, the deepest music can be an utterly personal investigation. While mostly avoiding righteous anger and eviscerating rock rhythms, these ten originals (plus a delicate cover of the Stones’ "Blue Turns To Grey") find a close cognate in the chilling exorcism of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. That album was a primal scream; Darby's is a primal whisper. Mother, isolation, anguish, fear, and the uncensored honesty that along purges those ghosts – that's the common ground of their private calling. But Fantasia Ball finds more than interior spaces and casts more than black light. Though far too spare to be called pop, "Summer" nearly skips along to the bops of background voices. On "If It Feels Good", Darby asks, "Haven't you spent long enough in the shadow of yourself?" The music has its own reply: Starting with lo-fi vocals and lightly plucked electric guitar, Darby adds cello, keys, and bass, in layer after uncanny layer, building a kind of cathedral minimalism that's always more than atmosphere. Fantasia Ball may feel like a testament to fragility, but there's great strength in the quiet risks it takes.
– Roy Kasten – No Depression - No Depression

""Quiet is the New Quiet." ­ Time Out NY"

Diana Darby achieves a rare mixture of softness and strength on Fantasia Ball. The album is unassuming, mostly based on guitar and Darby's voice, but that voice is so dreamy and lovely that it's plenty enough. Just try to imagine an earthier Kendra Smith, or perhaps a less cloying Hope Sandoval.
­ Elisabeth Vincentelli - Time Out NY

"San Francisco Burning"

It's a window to another world, where it's okay to be vulnerable. I am tired of the continuing death of eros. This is desiring and yearning music. It's an honest record that deals with beauty. It must be heard in a dark room on a special night.
– SF Burning - SF Burning


Naked Time (LP)
Fantasia Ball (LP)
Eye of The Beholder (3)
Nothing Left To Lose (tribute to Kris Kristofferson)


Feeling a bit camera shy


A voice that could make butterflies bleed. Influences: Velvet Underground, Love, Bob Dylan, Anne Sexton, Sharon Olds.