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Nina Diaz at the Hotel Cafe 8/23/16. Photo by Derrick K. Lee, Esq. (@Methodman13) for www.BlurredCulture.com.


It’s been a long time coming, but on October 28, 2016, Nina Diaz’s solo album, “The Beat Is Dead”, will see the light of day.

I’ve been following Nina’s career since I saw her band Girl In A Coma perform on an episode of Last Call With Carson Daly back in 2011. I was smitten by the band’s riot grrrl mentality, catchy songwriting and raw, visceral sonics, but most importantly, I was drawn to Nina’s voice. There is a lush timbre to it that makes it extremely sensual to the ear, even if she’s angrily shouting a chorus.

Girl In A Coma’s last album, “Exits & All The Rest”, was released in November 2011. After touring in support of that album, the band decided to take some time off to pursue different endeavors. The drummer, Phanie Diaz (who is Nina’s older sister) and the bassist, Jenn Alva, started a harder hitting punk band, FEA, and Nina started to write music for a solo endeavor. Don’t worry though … the girls have each said that Girl In A Coma in only on a temporary hiatus (whew!)

I first got to hear some of the music she had been working on when she played a solo set at the Hotel Cafe back in 2013. I said it then, and I’ll say it again, that show was otherworldly. Though the new songs that she performed at that show were only in their infancy, all of the emotions culled from her own personal life experience were embodied therein, and I was truly moved by that performance.

Seeing her back at the Hotel Cafe, after announcing the official release date of her album, was cathartic. This time, she took the stage with a full band, filling out the sounds of each of the songs that I had heard years ago, performing with a confidence and swagger that I had never seen before.

While her new music definitely has more a post-punk feel, smoothed out with clean pop-influenced production, it still packs the same punk attitude and emotional depth as her music with Girl In A Coma and as I heard back in 2013. There is definitely a new level of freedom that Nina is playing with, and that freedom, as expressed in the music, reveals how much she’s grown, both musically and personally. 

Based only on what I know about her from the stories she’s told during the performances I’ve attended in the past, learning about her path to sobriety and her familial relationships, my gut tells me that she’s learned a lot about herself since that last “Girl In Coma” album, and we, her fans, are lucky to have her maturation documented in her new album.

During her Hotel Cafe set, she performed 13 songs, most of which are from her new album, each on a gem in their own right. Whether she was dancing to the groove of her music, or pouring her soul out with her booming, lush alto voice, this performance seemed to be ushering in a new version of Nina; Nina Diaz v.2 if you will. Nina Diaz v.1 was already pretty damn good, and this evolution make Nina that much better.  I can’t wait to receive my copy of her album.

Follow Nina Diaz on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and be sure to pre-order her album!

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