Toronto, ON's finest new synth-pop group, DIANA face the unenviable task of bleeding vitality from an increasingly anaemic genre. Blame the melting melodies of singer Carmen Elle (of Army Girls infamy) and former Destroyer saxophonist Joseph Shabason, then, for the nagging brilliance of their quietly explosive debut, Perpetual Surrender, which isn't forgettable or derivative, but memorably evocative. Highlights are "Foreign Installation" and "Perpetual Surrender," the euphony of anaclitic lyrics, woolly ambience and wistful sax evoking Purity Ring strung out on the Blue Nile's soul downers. That the songs (recorded in the nostalgia-fatigued years of 2011 and 2012) twist out fresh zeal is a testament to the lasting richness of the jazz-trained band's soil. Though they won't repeat the trick, Diana plunder '80s-aping blog-pop and find surprising riches in a long washed-out gold mine.
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