Dianas – ‘Little Glimmer’ review: Art rockers sparkle on their best album yet

The three-piece have further evolved their dreamlike sound on a record that echoes Sleater-Kinney and Cocteau Twins

After taking half a decade to release their second album ‘Baby Baby’, Dianas have had a bout of lockdown productivity. ‘Little Glimmer’ follows on just over a year after ‘Baby Baby’, and it shows the indie rock trio are continuing to push their dreamlike sound with bigger songs, hooks and experimentation.

‘Little Glimmer’ takes you on a journey through Dianas’ trademark sounds – dream pop, shoegaze, post-punk, art rock – and is the best showcase of their talents yet. Like the striking colours of the album’s artwork, ‘Little Glimmer’ is like a snapshot of the twilit moments between night and day. It shape-shifts from rolling shoegaze (‘Little Glimmer’) and angular, feet-shuffling art rock (‘Untitled Dance Track’) to ethereal dream pop (‘Ice Queen’ and ‘Time of Night’).

‘Time of Night’ in particular swoons and sways with the romanticism of a midnight rendezvous, its starry vocal melody ebbing and flowing before floating off into the night. It’s a beautiful pause on an album that otherwise has a motorik momentum, and shows off the band’s clever art rock sensibilities beautifully.

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‘One & Only’ has the beating heart of a pop song, a subtle yet hummable earworm that wouldn’t sound out of place on the next Erika de Casier record. But there are no beats here: Dianas let their instrumentation do the talking, the three-piece filtering an R&B-leaning sound through a frosty lens. It’s a testament to their talents that no matter how familiar some of these sounds feel, the songs always have a uniquely Dianas edge to them.

For example, ‘Logical’ demonstrates that even when the band are at their most ethereal, they still have razor-sharp hooks that you’ll be whistling for days. “You love to think about you / I love to think about me,” vocalists Caitlin Moloney and Nathalie Pavolic sing, their voices intertwining like gossamer threads. The song sports one of the most blistering choruses on the album and ultimately distils the best of Dianas: forward-thinking, immediate and intriguingly rough around the edges.

All of this comes together in a way that makes you wonder about an alternate reality where Sleater-Kinney made ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ instead of Cocteau Twins. What’s more impressive is the speed in which this record came together – the band knocked around voice memos and GarageBand takes over lockdown before taking that pent-up energy into the studio with James Cecil, recording the album in a matter of weeks. “For the first time in a long time I feel hopeful,” go the opening lines of whimsical closing track ‘Forever’, and by its end, it’s hard not to be left feeling similarly optimistic.

Details

Dianas 2021 album Little Glimmer
  • Release date: November 26
  • Record label: Heavy Machinery/Blossom Rot
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