August 26, 2016 by FELIX CONTRERAS • When I first saw Nina Diaz back in 2010, she was fronting a punk trio from San Antonio called Girl In A Coma. She and the band sounded ferocious, with an unmistakable spirit of fun — for proof, here's their Tiny Desk concert from a couple years later.
Now, Girl In A Coma has taken a short and temporary break so Diaz could work on the inevitable solo album — and it sounds as if the break has been good for everyone all around. The other two women in the band, Diaz's sister Phannie and their compadre Jenn Alva, continue to work on a variety of side projects and recordings. (Don't sleep on their new group and album, both of which are called Fea.)
As a solo artist, Diaz finds new ways to sound ferocious, this time via songs packed with the kind of subtleties that come with a bit of age and wisdom. Her new album is due out in the fall, but she's been out on the road with her new band as they figure out how to make the new material come alive on the stage.
Judging from what we saw behind Bob Boilen's desk recently, it seems they've gotten comfortable with the music, and with Diaz's newfound status as a solo singer-songwriter.
"The Beat Is Dead" is available now.
Producers: Felix Contreras, Morgan Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Walker, Julia Reihs; Production Assistant: Kate Drozynski; Photo: Jun Tsuboike/NPR.
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