Material: You can learn a lot about an artist from just one song, and indie-folk songstress Diana DeMuth’s single “The Doorway” does just that. Peppy, folk instrumentation paired with soul-baring vocals and heartstring-tugging lyrics make this track a perfect addition to anyone’s work-friendly playlist. “The Doorway” is used as an opportunity to share the exact type of music we should expect from her––indie-folk anthems derived from personal experiences.
Musicianship: DeMuth strives to make sure that her experiences come through to her listeners. DeMuth doesn’t stick to just a standard brand of indie. In fact, her songs easily veer between fun, country-infused tunes to dark, bluesy rock melodies in the blink of an eye. Her mature lyrical and vocal ability, as well as the versatility in her instrumentation, naturally showcases a range of influences. If you’re looking for a moody mix of modern indie (Birdy, the Lumineers) and strong classic rock female vocals (Joni Mitchell, Stevie Nicks), look no further than Diana DeMuth.
Performance: When DeMuth and her band took the stage, it was as if they were going to give their audience Avril Lavigne-esque type music. But, if you’ve ever been to the Hotel Cafe you know you’re going get acoustic acts or indie-folk groups. Well, from the first strum of opening song “Raleigh” it was clear how the rest of the night was going to go. Each track showcased obvious folk/country roots with a slight alternative edge between the instrumentation and DeMuth’s smoky vocals. DeMuth was comfortable with her audience as she smoothly transitioned from melodic mid- tempo tracks to intensely emotional ballads. Standouts included “Forgive Me,” a pure country track with light guitars and impressive yodeling skills, and the melancholy, chillingly raw “Eliza.” The night ended with the radio-friendly, classically indie “Beat.” DeMuth’s set beautifully showcased her lyrical quality and performance strength. The only thing that marred its smooth sailing was the guitar tech’s fanboy obnoxiously heckling every single time he switched out DeMuth’s guitar.
Summary: Los Angeles has a very competitive indie singer-songwriter scene and DeMuth will constantly have to push to stand out from the rest. Musically, her songs are anthemic and catchy enough to get some traction. Lyrically, she showcases the emotional and experiential factor that modern music should strive to achieve. Lastly, DeMuth’s confident rocker-chick stage persona offers a little bit more than the other local artists in her genre. Her future is a complete and total toss-up, but I’m interested to see what becomes of her.