REVIEW: Dianña — Hands (SINGLE/VIDEO)
Dianña’s “Hands” continues the impressive run that the singer/songwriter began with the late 2018 release of her country song “Andale Yeehaw”. Her debut in the genre generated an impressive amount of momentum for the young singer/songwriter and she has followed it up with several singles full of audience appeal. Despite the appeal she has to modern listeners, Dianña doesn’t get there by presenting them with cookie cutter level material. “hands” demonstrates the depth of her talent as no other preceding single does.
It doesn’t attempt to take listeners there through histrionics or melodramatic nonsense. “Hands”, instead, builds on a straightforward idea — the scarred and calloused hands of a laborer inspired her to write this song. There is a loose narrative in the lyrics and the words, as well, point towards other possible themes for listeners to enjoy. She’s unquestionably a great singer whose voice commands your attention from the first line, but even a single listen to this track will open listeners’ minds to her imaginative world.
The elegant writing and characterization in miniature, the payoff lines for her listeners, and the song’s mid-tempo development are crucial for the song’s success. Above all else, however, is her voice. It’s a powerful instrument with undoubted muscle, but the real show comes from her ability to bring several different emotions to life during the course of the song. She has a slightly smoky timbre to her voice during certain lines that you’ll find quite effective as well.
You put your trust in her from the outset. That sort of immediate connection with singers bodes well for the remainder of the track and it’s the same story with “Hands”. She’s an attentive singer as well. Careful listening to this song reveals that she has crafted her vocal in such a way that it feeds off the musical backing and there’s no doubt that’s with an eye toward eventual live performance.
She isn’t a studio singer alone. Working in its technological confines allows inferior singers to mask their deficiencies and anyone who listens to a lot of modern recordings can identify at least a few of the warning signs for such singers. There’s none of that here. There sounds like some double tracking comes into play during the song’s chorus, but this is really the sole meaningful affectation present in the mix and it adds to the performance rather than detracting from it.
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“Hands” is one of the most substantive and entertaining country songs released in some time. The tradition, however, that she owes much of her artistic allegiance to isn’t weepy golden oldies, ala Hank Williams or Patsy Cline, but instead 80’s-early 90’s country before the genre wholeheartedly threw its gates open to the pop world. It’s authentic through and through.
Let’s hope she continues working in this vein. Bringing the personal together with her observations on the world around here is a winner for her — few modern country songwriters are as intensely curious about people as Dianña. It’s something she should build on, but regardless of whatever direction she takes with future releases, she’s guaranteed to make a mark.