Alela Diane

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Alela Diane
Alela Diane - Strasbourg 2011.jpg
Diane performing in May 2011
Background information
Birth name Alela Diane Menig
Born (1983-04-20) April 20, 1983 (age 32)
Nevada City, California, U.S.
Genres Indie folk, Americana, psych folk
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 2003-present
Labels Holocene Music, Names Records, Rough Trade Records, Rusted Blue Records
Associated acts Black Bear, Blitzen Trapper, Headless Heroes

Alela Diane Menig (born April 20, 1983), known as Alela Diane, is an American singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon.

Early life and education[edit]

Diane was born in Nevada City, California on April 20, 1983. She grew up singing with her musician parents and performing in the school choir. She taught herself guitar, and began writing songs that blend tense, trance-like arpeggios with warm vocals and meditative lyrics about family and nature. Her first recordings were self-released in 2003 as Forest Parade. Her first solo public appearances were at the invitation of fellow Nevada City native Joanna Newsom. She also did a stint in the Nevada City band Black Bear before continuing with her solo pursuits.


The songs for her album The Pirate’s Gospel were written on a trip to Europe. They were recorded in her father’s studio and were initially self-released in 2004, in paper and lace sleeves with hand lettering. The album was issued in revised form by Holocene Music[1] in October 2006, and received widespread critical acclaim.[2][3][4][5][6]

A new song, "Dry Grass and Shadows", was issued on a compilation of Nevada City artists,[7] and five more new songs were issued on a limited-edition 10" vinyl pressing, Songs Whistled Through White Teeth, released in the UK in October 2006. The Pirate's Gospel was released in the UK on Names Records[8] in April 2007, garnering favorable reviews in The Times[9] and NME.[10]

She toured the U.S. both solo and with Tom Brosseau, and opened for Iron & Wine, Akron/Family, The Decemberists, and Vashti Bunyan. She also toured extensively in Europe (UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany) in March, April and May 2008.[11]

She sang on an album of cover songs, The Silence of Love by Headless Heroes, released in November 2008, recorded by Eddie Bezalel and Hugo Nicholson with musicians Josh Klinghoffer, Joey Waronker, Gus Seyffert, Leo Abrahams and Woody Jackson.[12]

Her second album, To Be Still, was released in February 2009 on Rough Trade Records.[13][14][15] In early 2009 she toured the USA opening for Blitzen Trapper, and spent the better part of that year touring Europe.

Her third album, Alela Diane & Wild Divine was released in early April 2011, and was recorded with a backing band, Wild Divine, which included her father, Tom Menig, and her now ex-husband, Tom Bevitori. She and Wild Divine toured the US and Europe to promote the album, and in July 2011, they opened for the Fleet Foxes on a string of dates. In the fall of the same year she also accompanied Fleet Foxes as opening act in Europe.

In 2012, her song "Take Us Back" was featured on the end credits of the episodic adventure game The Walking Dead (Episode 5: No Time Left) by Telltale Games.

Her fourth album, About Farewell, was released on her own label, Rusted Blue Records, in digital format in June 2013, with the physical edition issued in July.[16]

Diane remarried in 2013 and gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Vera Marie, in early November 2013.[17][18]

In 2014, the track "The Light" appeared on The Walking Dead fourth season soundtrack Songs of Survival Vol. 2.

On October 16, 2015, Diane and guitarist Ryan Francesconi released the album Cold Moon. It features the "thoughtful guitar picking of Francesconi [and] Diane’s naturalist, poetic lyrics."[19]



Singles and EPs[edit]

  • Alela Diane CD EP, self-released, 2005
  • Songs Whistled Through White Teeth 10" vinyl EP, Names Records (UK), 2006
  • "The Rifle" CD single, Names Records, 2008
  • Alela & Alina 10" vinyl EP (featuring Alina Hardin), Family/Names Records, 2009
  • "To Be Still" CD single, Names Records, 2008
  • "Elijah" CD single, Rough Trade, 2011
  • Home Recordings & B-Sides from the Wild Divine Sessions CD EP, Rough Trade Records, 2011

With Headless Heroes[edit]

  • The Silence of Love, Names Records, 2008
  • "The North Wind Blew South" 7"/CD single, Names Records, 2008
  • Headless Heroes 12" EP, Names Records, 2009 (remixes)

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • "Church of Jesus Christ" on Dream Magazine #6, 2006
  • "Dry Grass and Shadows (Live in Studio)", track on Grass Roots Record Co. Family Album compilation, Grass Roots Records, 2006
  • "There's Only One", track on Be Yourself: A Tribute to Graham Nash's Songs for Beginners, Grass Roots Records, 2010
  • "Like a Summer Thursday", track on More Townes Van Zandt by the Great Unknown, Forthesakeofthesong, 2010
  • "Take Us Back", end credits in The Walking Dead Episode 5 video game, 2012
  • "How Can We Hang on to a Dream", track on Reason To Believe - The Songs of Tim Hardin, Full Time Hobby, 2013
  • "The Light", track on Songs of Survival Vol. 2, Republic Records, 2014


External links[edit]