Rough Trade to release Alela Diane's To Be Still Feb. 17

Alela Diane
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Nevada City, Calif. singer/songwriter Alela Diane released her first album, The Pirate's Gospel, in 2006. Two years later, its haunting folk still lingered enough to land her a spot among the Best of What's Next, but we couldn't be happier that Rough Trade, which signed Alela this fall, has finally announced the release of her second LP, To Be Still, coming Feb. 17, 2009.

Recorded in Nevada City and Portland, Ore., it's a gorgeous sonic expansion of her sparse debut, featuring pedal steel, violin and rustic percussion, with lyrics tangled up in brambles and foxtails and wind-whipped sea cliffs. From the woozy folk flourishes of opener "Dry Grass & Shadows," already road-tested as a bare-bones acoustic gem, to the heart-shattering final track, "Lady Divine," we could ask for nothing more except for maybe the record having been made a little sooner.