Diane Birch at Gypsy Sally's Wednesday, Sept. 3

Singer-songwriter Diane Birch is an old soul. Her promotional materials compare her to Laura Nyro and Karen Carpenter, and a quick YouTube search yields clips of her crooning Hall & Oates’ “Life’s Too Short” with Daryl Hall himself. She’s even got an acoustic cover of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” in which her soaring vocals distract from the lack of synthesizers. But as much as she seems tied to the past, her solo work, with its elements of folk, gospel, and pop, sounds refreshingly new and devoid of the overly produced elements and shallow lyrics that plague other contemporary vocalists. Like Nyro and Carole King before her, Birch recognizes the importance of sharing her emotions with listeners in the hopes of drawing them in. “Was I too emotional? Too many puzzles for your simple soul?” she questions an ex-love on “All the Love You’ve Got.” This level of emotion sounds just about right. Diane Birch performs with Crash and Margot MacDonald at 8:30 p.m. at Gypsy Sally’s, 3401 K St. NW. $9.50–$15. (202) 333-7700. gypsysallys.com.

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