Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Diane Coffee

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Diane Coffee | Photo by Eric Schuman for XPN

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session is the latest incarnation of an ever-evolving project. Diane Coffee began as the solo vehicle for Shaun Fleming, former voice actor and, at the time, drummer for West Coast psych-pop outfit Foxygen. What started with Fleming’s bare-bones home recordings gradually became an expansive live show boasting a full band and, on occasions like their memorable 2016 XPNFest appearance, costume changes. The Spring 2019 release of the third Diane Coffee album, Internet Arms, arrives after Fleming’s departure from Foxygen as well as a stint portraying King Herod in a production of Jesus Christ Superstar. The full Diane Coffee band visited our studio for a thrilling performance.

Joining Fleming for this session is drummer Sam Bryson, bassist Aiden Epstein, guitarist Kyle Paul and keyboardist Matt Romy (the last two also performed on the album). Our session roars to a start with a rendition of the album’s title song and effective mission statement. Like its parent record, “Internet Arms” is an examination of the relationship between technology and humanity. Evoking the “electronic arms” of Laurie Anderson’s iconic “O Superman,” the song offers a sinister embrace to a jeopardized humankind. Next is the sprightly single “Like a Child Does.” Fleming has described the song as being about breaking loose from ‘behavioral loops’ as well as the chaos that can cause. Another technologically minded track, “Simulation,” is next. A kind of anthem for the ‘Black Mirror’ generation, the vocoder-laden song extols the questionable virtues of isolating oneself in a digital bubble. The session closes with a performance of “Stuck in Your Saturday Night,” arguably the most human track on Internet Arms. A glittery ballad, you can almost picture Sam Lowry and Jill Layton’s fantastical escape from the billboard-cluttered dystopia of Brazil. Fleming is backed up by the entire band’s harmonies in the song’s lush, warm arrangement.

Listen to Diane Coffee’s Indie Rock Hit Parade session below and check out some photos from the studio…

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