Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article
Friday 25 January 2013

I V (intravenous): Diana Darby Crafts Her Very Own Colossus On Fourth Album Of Dark Gems

The floorboards creak. The windows flap back and forth in the pre-storm breeze. There's something in the walls; the ghost of an event long since played out to its grizzly conclusion. And all the while the Dansette plays the filmic and captivating new album, I V (intravenous), by Diana Darby.



Welcome to the hauntingly beautiful, strange and unsettling world of the Nashville-based one-take queen. 

She"s the modern day equivalent of Sylvia Plath; poking a lyrical stick into the dark woods of our darkest consciousness. 

This isn"t pop, this isn"t some cheap commercial-baiting wannabe. This is the soundtrack to what comes after the party years. This is the comedown. This is the truth lying bloody and convulsing by the side of the crossroads. 


Diana Darby"s last seven years – the time it has taken her to follow-up the majestic The Magdalene Laundries – have been littered with both catastrophes and misfortune.

She sustained neck and back injuries after being rear-ended in a hit and run. Her constant canine companion, Trouble, died suddenly, and her parents fell victim to the ravages of old age.

Darby said back in 2005 that she writes because her upbringing "was a nightmare."

She continued: "My first love is poetry. But poets don"t make any money, (not that songwriters do either) so I chose song writing because it combines the best of both worlds for me… poetry and music. But I don"t consider myself just a songwriter. I think of myself as a writer."

This would explain her Plath-like turns of phrase. On I V (intravenous) opener "Trouble", the scene is set in the first verse: You are / looking for trouble / Looking for trouble / In this world .. before the unsettling payoff: .. You think / He will come to you / But you / Don't know what he'll do.

Even love doesn"t get the candyfloss and summer sun treatment. On 'If Love', our protagonist asks: If love were a girl / Would you mock her in vain / If love fell apart / Would you sew her again. The unseemly side of love, maybe. But the honest line, definitely. 

But it"s on the album"s standout cut, 'Heaven', that Darby seemingly soundtracks Jeanette Winterson"s recent revelatory autobiographical tale of childhood mental abuse. 


In Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, Winterson graphically details how she was beaten, she was often hungry, she was left all night on the doorstep and that she was not well loved.

The first verse of 'Heaven' reads: My mother tells me I will go to Hell /  My mother tells me that I won't be saved / My mother tells me that she is afraid / That I won't go to Heaven / I won't go to Heaven.

But it"s thanks to Darby"s understated melodies that the album"s strong lyrical content is able to shine through. 

She gently weaves her electric guitar lines behind her hushed vocal tones. It is a credit to all involved that it takes a look at the sleeve notes to reveal that it"s not a solo affair, but that in fact five other musicians are involved.

 I V (intravenous) is a medicine that needs to be taken as a whole. It drifts, but never plods. 

All the pieces fit together and as a body of work it lives up to Darby"s own take on her sound: "Fragile, delicate, quiet. In the realm of Nick Drake." Add to that majestic and thought provoking, and you have the modern day Darby all sewn-up (as if!).

Diana Darby's 'I V (intravenous)' is out now .. see dianadarby.com for more details.


by: Mike Cobley

Related links

Diana Darby

   

Brighton singer Jo Harman has won the Female Vocalist of the Year at the British Blues Awards. She was nominated as one of the finalists by a wide ranging committee of industry experts, with the final decision going to public vote.
There are artists who are independent in the music industry sense, and artists who are independent in mind, spirit and the sheer bloody-mindedness with which they've made something of themselves. Nell Bryden fits both descriptions, and has the stories to prove it.
There was nothing Kate Bush about Lee Evans' return to Brighton, on Tuesday night (26th August). His was a simple set design; no fish heads, no flying and no song cycles. 
John Cooper Clarke's biting, satirical, political and very funny verse, delivered in a uniquerapid-fire performance style, resonated with the punk movement of the late 1970s.
Artist, radical activist and ethical erotic emporium founder, Sam Roddick has been confirmed to speak alongside Peter James at TEDxBrighton 2014
The Unthanks first came to our attention when they were headlining a Great Escape night. A packed Spiegeltent next to St Peter’s Church, in Brighton, emptied rapidly as support, Bon Iver, left the venue. 

Brighton Pride organisers have announced that following the 2014 Pride celebrations in Preston Park and the Pride Village Party, they have smashed their target and so far raised £64,578.00 for the Rainbow Fund Community Interest Company. 
After teaming up with the Foo Fighters in both Scotland and South Africa, Kaiser Chiefs will find time in their busy schedule to play a date at the Brighton Centre.
Young people in Brighton & Hove are being offered the opportunity to take part in an innovative programme to help them combat social anxiety. 
After two years away the most popular ice show in the world, Holiday on Ice, is returning to The Brighton Centre  for one week only with their 70th anniversary show Platinum, featuring Dancing on Ice All Stars winner, Ray Quinn.

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...






Latest Brighton Jobs

Anaesthetics SPR - South East Coast

We are currently seeking an experienced SPR Anaesthetics Doctor for immediate placement in the South East Coast area.The Anaesthetics role offers competitive...
ID Medical - Sussex
More details

Spr Anaesthetics

AWARD WINNING AGENCY MediLink Consulting are currently recruiting on behalf of a Large NHS Trust in the South East of England for a Specialist Registrar in...
Medilink Consulting - Sussex
More details

Hardware Engineer – Electronics / Embedded Systems

Hardware Engineer – Electronics / Embedded Systems Lewes, East Sussex £40,000 - £45,000 Plus Pension, Private Healthcare, Life Assurance, Eyecare Our client is...
Webrecruit - Brighton
More details

Care Co-Ordinator

Care Co-Ordinator Domiciliary Care Provider Salary: £16,000 - £18,000 per annum depending on experience Location: Burgess Hill Full Time Are you looking to...
Coburg Banks Ltd - Burgess
More details
Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd