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Alela Diane

Background information
Birth name Alela Diane Menig
Born April 20, 1983 (1983-04-20) (age 26)
Nevada City, California, USA
Genres Folk, Americana, psych folk
Occupations singer, songwriter
Instruments vocals, guitar
Years active 2003-present
Labels Holocene Music
Names Records

Alela Diane Menig (b. April 20, 1983, Nevada City, California, USA) is an American singer and songwriter, who is associated with the psych folk and New Weird America musical genres.


Life and career

She grew up singing with her musician parents and performing in the school choir. She taught herself guitar, and began writing songs which blend tense, trance-like arpeggios with warm vocals and meditative lyrics about family and nature. Her first recordings were self-released in 2003 as Forest Parade. Her first solo public appearances were at the invitation of fellow Nevada City native Joanna Newsom. She also did a stint in the Nevada City slow grass band Black Bear before continuing with her solo pursuits.

The songs for her album, 'The Pirate’s Gospel', were written on a trip to Europe. They were recorded in her father’s studio and were initially self-released in 2004, in paper and lace sleeves with hand lettering. The album was issued in revised form by Holocene Music[1]in October 2006, and received widespread critical acclaim.[2][3][4][5][6]

A new song, "Dry Grass and Shadows", was issued on a compilation of Nevada City artists,[7] and five more new songs were issued on a limited-edition 10" vinyl pressing, Songs Whistled Through White Teeth, released in the UK in October 2006. The Pirate's Gospel was released in the UK on Names Records[8] in April 2007, garnering favorable reviews in The Times[9] and NME.[10]

Alela Diane has toured in the USA both solo and with Tom Brosseau, and has also opened for The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, Akron/Family and Vashti Bunyan. She performed in the UK in April and August 2007. While in the UK in August of 2007 she performed at the Green Man Festival in Wales. She also toured extensively in Europe (UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany) in March, April and May 2008.[11]

She lent her voice to an album of cover versions, The Silence of Love by Headless Heroes, released in November 2008, recorded by Eddie Bezalel and Hugo Nicholson with musicians Joey Waronker, Gus Seyffert, Leo Abrahams and Woody Jackson.[12]

Her second album, To Be Still, was released in February 2009.[13][14][15]

She now lives in Portland, Oregon. She has a cat named Bramble Rose.


Main Studio Albums

Self-Released Albums

  • Forest Parade, self-released, 2003
  • The Pirate's Gospel, self-released, 2004

Compilation Contributions and Other

  • Dry Grass and Shadows, track on Family Album compilation, Grass Roots Records, 2006
  • Songs Whistled Through White Teeth, Names Records (UK), 2006 (10” vinyl)
  • The Pirate's Gospel, Names Records (UK rerelease w/ different artwork), April 2007
  • Alela & Alina, Family/Names Records, October 2009 (10” vinyl)


External links and further sources

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