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Over the eight albums in her discography, Chicago-area recording artist Diane Marie Kloba has established herself as an innovator through her novel recombinations of recognizable elements from rock, folk, punk and poetic forms.
The eighth and latest release from Diane Marie Kloba is Deep Heart. In some ways, Deep Heart departs from Kloba’s recent earlier work: There was no overarching concept to the album. The lyrical subject matter takes a step away from her previous work: She introduces some enigmatic new characters and situations, and mostly avoids the subject of art itself and its creation.
While some arrangements are more stripped down with a hint of folk-blues, the title track is lush with synthesizers and layered guitar. It is Kloba’s first time working with a new mix engineer, Andrew Diaz.
Also included are remastered versions of the Soundcloud hit “Thunder” (featuring Westfront), and “He Lights Up”, previously available only on the Vanguardista Records Winter Solstice compilation.
Kloba’s previous release, Ghost In The Museum is a multi-layered, rich collection of songs using guitars, synthesizer and organic percussion as the haunting atmospheric backdrop for poems with hidden dual meanings.
The underlying lyrical focus is on the spirit of an individual artist seemingly left behind in their chosen medium. The album was not composed as a concept piece, but this central theme started to emerge during writing and demo recording, so these nine kindred songs were selected from the dozens composed by Kloba since her 2013 release It Is All an Illusion.
The musical elements extend down to the center of the earth while vocals sweep you way back up to the North pole. Layers of melodies make orchestrated entrances and exits to create dimension and space evoking wide, picturesque landscapes of sound: the halls of the museum, the desert, the high plains.
Following on the success of her two most recent previous efforts, production assistance and mixing on Ghost In The Museum were provided by Ryan Albrecht, whose classical background proved well suited to the orchestral textures (Albrecht’s credits include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). As with previous efforts, Kloba sings and plays most of the parts, but has enlisted members of her former band The Silent Workers for backup vocals and some key instruments.
As a youngster, Kloba listened to pop music, but when she caught a David Bowie TV appearance, she says she literally “fell out of her chair” at the sight of him, and the experience taught her that it’s good to be different.
She didn’t set out to be a musician, but began began with poetry. She learned from two other heroes, Bob Dylan and Ricky Lee Jones, that poetry could be made into song, and took up guitar to do just that. Jones also was an early influence on her singing style.
As a young, developing musician, she was influenced by The Cars who were “happy but intelligent” and Talking Heads, who she loved for their driving, primal beats. More recently she has found inspiration in the more challenging later work of Radiohead, and loves how her “brain has to learn a new formula” with each album. Kid A remains her favorite.
Aside from her solo albums, Diane Marie Kloba participates with vocals and instruments and compositions to collaborations with other local and international artists, including Kloba Kent with UK-based multi-instrumentalist Paul Kent.