Diana Mod Club, Toronto, ON, March 20

Diana Mod Club, Toronto, ON, March 20
Photo: Ian Gormely
Despite featuring a who's who of Toronto's young indie scene, Diana have been slowly bubbling under the radar for a while now. But a string of high-profile opening slots is threatening to reveal the quartet to the greater populace.

Led by singer/guitarist Carmen Elle, who's played with Austra and is one half or Army Girls, the group create swirling synth jams that owe as much to Sade and early '90s R&B as they do to the '80s synth pop too many indie bands are trying to approximate these days.

Elle was the centre point of their set, playing smatterings of guitar or nonchalantly stalking the stage while her bandmates built their songs up with bass, keyboards, and a mixture of live drums and synth pads, plus the occasional sax burst from Joseph Shabason.

Elle did her best as a frontwoman, though she looked a bit lost at times without her guitar, unwilling to fully commit to her newfound role as a pop singer. Despite some bad mixes — the drums were overpowering the more subtle aspects of their tracks for parts of the set — the group found a winning mix between sonic experimentation and pop bliss.