CMW 2014: DIANA @ The Drake Underground

THURSDAY — "This isn't going to be a traditional DIANA set," frontwoman Carmen Elle announced as the band took the stage. And was she ever telling the truth. Following a bizarre set from ASMR Buds (when we walked in, the band was quietly crumpling a bag into a microphone while the audience sat on the floor, entranced), the Toronto electro-poppers opted for their own brand of radical experimentation. Instead of their usual, ethereal-but-catchy tunes, they played languid, free-form improvisations loosely based on the DIANA songs the crowd was already familiar with. Even their cover of the already highly experimental Brian Eno was only "loosely" based on the original track. The set was, for the most part, instrumental, too; the band largely dispensed with Elle's haunting vocals. And it all happened while they played in front of a projection of giant hands slowly opening various types of food packaging — and playing with what looked like it might be homemade play-dough.

Safe to say it was an exciting departure for anyone looking for something completely different — and disappointing for anyone who came to the Drake hoping to hear the DIANA songs they already know and love.





Read all our coverage of CMW 2014 here.

Photos by Carmen Cheung, the Arts Editor for The Little Red Umbrella.

Words by Adam Bunch, the Editor-in-Chief of the Little Red Umbrella and the creator of the Toronto Dreams Project. You can read his posts here, follow him on Twitter here, or email him at


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