BARBARELLA - La PISCINE EP
Heavily influenced by the romance of the 60s freedom movement, Diana, under the moniker Barbarella, creates musical exhibits of film and electronica. A student of philosophy, she explores themes of love, sex and moral contradictions. Using beauty as a tool to provoke emotion in the viewer.
Genre: Indie Pop/ Underground
Hometown: Based in London, UK. From Ibiza, Spain
Influences: The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys, Soft Cell, Britney Spears
Sounds like: Goldfrapp, Angel Olsen, Lana de Rey, Allie X
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Diana is Spanish, but her performance - which fused chanson with electronica - had something almost Germanic about it. I could have imagined the show going down very well in Berlin, since she has something of a young Marlene Dietrich about her.
Several things struck me about the performance. First, Diana has a bloody good voice and she's a great producer. The music, and in particular the bass, was impressive.
Secondly, she is a great performer. That sounds like hyperbole but it's true. What I mean by that is, she's the kind of performer who really 'means it'.
Not that she lacks humour on stage -quite the contrary- but nevertheless, her presence signals that this is a serious undertaking. Her songs have depth &meaning and she is here to communicate something significant.
The other touchpoint, of course, is Bardot, since Diana has something of that look about her. I was reminded of that motorcycle film she did in the 60s. But Diana is part ingenue and part dominatrix, and there's no doubting who's in charge when she's performing.
Most of all, I really liked the direction of Diana's (or Barbarella's) music, which has morphed through the years into a kind-of minimal house sound with edgy electronic effects. (Which is why I brought in the Berlin thing before).
The nearest comparison I can think of is Goldfrapp, but this is great stuff - sexy seductive, and just a little bit dangerous.