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Diane Birch – Flying on Abraham

Diane Birch Soars on “Flying on Abraham”: A No-Mess Flight of Classic Soul with Modern Flair

Diane Birch takes the controls on “Flying on Abraham,” a Bandcamp-exclusive album that bypasses the streaming wars for a more direct connection with her audience. This isn’t just about bypassing middlemen though; it’s about a return to a purer sound.

Birch, a pianist and singer-songwriter with a decade under her hiatus, acts as our pilot, guiding us through a smooth soundscape inspired by 70s AM radio. Think smoky soul, breezy jazz, and the rich textures of R&B and soft rock – a sonic palette that feels comfortably familiar yet avoids becoming a mere retro retread.

The secret weapon here might be Birch’s co-pilot, Paul Stacey (of Oasis and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds). His production is clean and uncluttered, allowing Birch’s voice – as smooth as a perfectly-aged Cabernet – to take center stage. There’s a subtle swagger to her delivery, channeling the likes of Carly Simon without ever veering into full-blown impersonation.

Lyrically, Birch keeps things heartfelt and relatable. The opening track, “Wind Machine,” sets the tone with its melancholic charm: “November is comin’ on and the nights are getting longer/ Summer always deceives/ Little promises like the orange leaves.”

The journey continues with a pitstop at a virtual Hall & Oates concert on “Jukebox Johnny,” complete with a squelching guitar solo and an irresistibly catchy chorus. “Juno” takes a detour into dusky ballad territory, complete with a Pink Floyd-esque guitar solo, while “Boys on Canvas” throws a playful wink with its light funk groove.

The standout track, “Used to Lovin’ You,” shows Birch’s versatility. Think twilight hues and shimmering synth pads as she effortlessly shifts gears from morning oldies to the smooth jams of the 80s.

“Flying on Abraham” is a confident and graceful return for Diane Birch. It’s a welcome escape for those seeking a well-crafted dose of classic soul with a touch of modern flair, all delivered straight from the artist, with no messy distractions. This is a first-class listening experience, best enjoyed with good company and a glass of something smooth.

You can buy Flying on Abraham by Diane Birch here.

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