The ever-evolving spectacle that is Diane Coffee -- the gender and genre-bending alter ego of
Shaun Fleming -- returns with Internet Arms, a swan dive into a lush, digital glam wonderland.
Fleming‚Äôs path to stardom can be traced all the way back to his childhood days as a Disney
voice actor, but for the past six years he‚Äôs explored the depths of his identity and channeled it
outward in the form of the enigmatic and exuberant Diane Coffee.
In 2018, after performing as King Herod in the Lyric Opera‚Äôs critically-acclaimed run of Jesus
Christ Superstar , Fleming emerged from the recording studio with Internet Arms. Born from the
fear and uncertainty of a future in which humankind is both dependent on and poisoned by
technology, the album finds Diane Coffee trapped in a digital world, enslaved by AI.
‚ÄúDid you know the technology exists to take a photo of anyone you know and use it to create‚Ä¶
well, let‚Äôs call it, ‚Äėadult entertainment‚Äô?‚ÄĚ Fleming asks. ‚ÄúAnd did you know that an estimated 70%
of all online activity isn‚Äôt human? Where does that leave us? We don‚Äôt interact with each other
anymore because we‚Äôre always online. Not to mention we can manifest any version of ourselves
at the push of a button when we‚Äôre logged in, so when we encounter humans they‚Äôre not even
Facing this existential crisis, Fleming‚Äôs anxieties became his muse as his writing explored the
scenarios of this dystopian future: ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a personal study on how I feel about living with constant
blurred lines of the self and the projected self.‚ÄĚ This notion shaped the sound of Internet Arms
as well, compelling Fleming to gravitate toward synths, electronic drums, and other futuristic
sounds from the past and present to create his version of a digital landscape, as well as a digital
version of himself.
‚ÄúThe songs are what have always dictated the sound. Working in the realm of clean, modern
pop production has been an exhilarating change of pace. Diane Coffee now sounds like a
digitization of its former self because I also feel trapped in this digital world,‚ÄĚ Fleming explains.
This newly cybernated Diane Coffee is masterfully unveiled on album standouts ‚ÄúNot Ready to
Go‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúLike a Child Does,‚ÄĚ with both songs serving as vulnerable reflections on power and
abuse. But whereas the former positions its chorus to soar high above a cityscape constructed
of conduits and transistors, the driving pulse of the latter propels forward like a high-speed race
through the surface streets of said city. Elsewhere, Diane Coffee‚Äôs sonic boundaries are pushed
the furthest on ‚ÄúLights On,‚ÄĚ a massive contemporary pop song that impressively showcases
Fleming‚Äôs extraordinary vocal range.
As a whole, Internet Arms marks a significant new phase for Fleming, a testimony to the idea
that Diane Coffee will endure as a fluid form of expression that continues to defy expectations of
sound and genre.
Claire George is a songwriter with wide eyes and a natural sense of wonder. You can hear it on single ‚ÄúOrbits‚ÄĚ when she sings, ‚ÄúEverything you are is a miracle.‚ÄĚ The track, which references Carl Sagan‚Äôs infamous golden records of the star-bound Voyager probes, also speaks to the other miracles of creation ‚ÄĒ youth, love, and humanity. It‚Äôs this particular blend of boundless awe and cosmic curiosity that Claire George channels into her work, and that makes her new EP, Bodies Of Water, so engaging. Across the EP‚Äôs five self-written and self-produced tracks, she combines an imaginative melodic sensibility with swirling electronic productions, crafting a clear vision for her debut. Claire‚Äôs voice will be familiar to some in the electronic space. She‚Äôs previously worked as a topliner, providing the vocal lines to tracks by dance artists Luttrell, Valy Mo, LP Giobbi and others. She also formerly served as the lead singer for the San Francisco act HEARTWATCH, but after disbanding in 2016, Claire decided to turn her focus inward. Seeking space and seclusion, she moved north for a quieter setting outside Seattle, near where she grew up. ‚ÄúAt the same time my band split, I went through a break-up and a series of family traumas, quit my job, and left my community in San Francisco,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI had always been an extrovert, so living in isolation for a year and a half was a huge change for me. It was a period of solitude unlike any other I had ever experienced in my life.‚ÄĚ Coming to grips with her self-imposed stillness, Claire struggled with anxiety and feelings of groundlessness, which she channeled into her musical practice. As a songwriter, she was used to having other voices in the room, whether working with her former band or with producers on vocal collaborations, but this was the first time she was writing, recording and producing entirely on her own, from the ground up. Moreover, while major cities like San Francisco are stimulating, they can also be noisy; so often the inspiration we find when surrounded by the output of our contemporaries also clouds our creative point-of-view. Detached from her previous projects and surroundings, Claire was able to experiment freely. ‚ÄúThis was the first time the genesis of a song started entirely from me, so I just really allowed myself to explore,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúThe creation process felt like a form of meditation, though often extremely frustrating. I was still learning how to produce as I was writing and creating, so everyday was a new experience with new challenges.‚ÄĚ Though difficult, the solitude proved rewarding, and Claire was able to find and refine her voice in the process. In 2018, she felt the present creative chapter closing and decided to relocate to Southern California to finish the material she had generated over the past two years. Claire‚Äôs diligent approach paid off, resulting in the singularly captivating Bodies Of Water EP. Opener ‚ÄúWhere Do You Go?‚ÄĚ serves as an introduction to her reflective lyrics and shimmering electronic atmospheres. ‚ÄúOrbits,‚ÄĚ a low-key pop jewel that swells around an ingenious vocal sample and a swooning chorus, was featured on a recent compilation from Kitsun√©, and appears here as the lead single. Claire similarly shines on the winsome and considerably more uptempo ‚ÄúSecond Guesses,‚ÄĚ as well as the synth-driven, slow-burning album closer ‚ÄúLonely Or Alone.‚ÄĚ Thematically, Claire paints an impressionistic picture of the transformative journey of love, the traumas surrounding the loss of youth and the ambivalence at the intersection of the two. ‚ÄúThis record reflects a lot on changing relationships and on the role of solitude in developing a closer relationship to oneself,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúMy whole project is influenced heavily by my need to look inward, to understand isolation intimately, to come to terms with changing relationships, and to build a healthy relationship with myself.‚ÄĚ Claire weaves those threads of self-awareness throughout the EP, from her deft production, to her striking vocal delivery, to her subtly nuanced perspective. Overall, Bodies Of Water is an undeniably strong body of work from a confident new voice, made all the more wondrous with each repeat listen. Bodies Of Water is out November 16, 2018 on Cascine.
BBQ Opens at 5pm!
Small Batch Oak Smoked Pulled Pork, Beef Brisket, Turkey Breast. Sandwiches, Tacos, Nachos 1/4lb Veggie Burgers, Mac-N-Cheese, Citrus Slaw and Potato Salad.
*Grab a sampler Platter and try it all!*