Alela Diane Menig (born April 20, 1983), known as Alela Diane, is an American singer-songwriter from Portland, Oregon.
Life and career
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 in October 2006, and received widespread critical acclaim.
A new song, "Dry Grass and Shadows", was issued on a compilation of Nevada City artists, 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 in April 2007, garnering favorable reviews in The Times and NME.
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.
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.
Her second album, To Be Still, was released in February 2009. 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 U.S. 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 a physical release to follow in July.
Diane remarried in 2013 and gave birth to her first child in early November 2013.