About Farewell, the fourth full-length album from Portland’s Alela Diane, is a return to form. The Portland singer-songwriter’s fourth release finds her taking the more contemplative tone of her earlier releases — a stark contrast to the meatier, fuller band sounds of 2011’s Alela Diane & Wild Divine.
The record also represents the most personal batch of songs she’s written, and for good reason. Her recent divorce (from Wild Divine bandmate Tom Bevitori) is a constant presence, though not always in an entirely direct way.
“I think that that experience forced me to dive into past memories,” she told opbmusic. “This time I was the one who left, so it forced me to remember what it was like to be left as well.”
The result is a kind of informed examination of farewell as she’s known it, and it’s lovely if not always carefree listening. Alela Diane and her band — including Heather Woods Broderick on vocals, piano and guitar, Ben Lansverk on viola, Samantha Kushnick on cello, Nathan Crockett on violin, and Holcombe Waller conducting — played for opbmusic during soundcheck before her release show at The Old Church in downtown Portland.