Friday, October 15, 2010

Diamond Rings gets his shine on

Getting decked out in spandex and acid wash denim like some unholy spawn of Vanilla Ice and La Roux's Elly Jackson to sing quirky tunes solo while thrashing a guitar over archaic 808 claps may not seem like an obvious formula for global pop success but adopting the Diamond Rings alter ego now looks like the sharpest career move Toronto's John O'Regan has ever made.
Certainly, those tastemaking writers at Pitchfork, Stereogum and NME who are now gushing about Diamond Rings weren't hyping anything Johnny O recorded with fellow University of Guelph pals in his band The D'Urbervilles "the best thing we've heard all year." Although the growing interest in all things Diamond Rings will likely soon have The D'Urbs' We Are The Hunters (Out Of This Spark) from 2008 and their self-titled 2006 debut EP hailed as "indie-rock classics" while their gag rap joints Worst Case Ontario and Mad As Hell (see links) are destined to be bootleged and sold as pricey hip-hop white labels. And just watch the market value of those Friends In Bellwoods comps go through the roof.
Since first appearing as Diamond Rings last summer, the 25-year-old Johnny O has been a busy boy, releasing three limited-run singles along with video clips for each. Beginning with a split seven accompanied by PS I Love You on the appropriately named Hype Lighter label, Diamond Rings then knocked out the Wait & See b/w On Fire seven on Tomlab followed by the Show Me Your Stuff 12-inch on One Big Silence and most recently, the Something Else seven on Montreal's Secret City Records who'll be officially issuing the Diamond Rings debut album Special Affections on October 25. On the day after, Diamond Rings joins PS I Love You for the Toronto release party at The Garrison. The already leaked 10-track Special Affections album isn't a radical departure from the typical Diamond Rings approach to melodic glam pop which involves tongue-in-cheeky synth riffs and throwback drum machine beats although it's much less of a dancefloor shaking party platter than anticipated. Who knows, the time might be right for Diamond Rings to slow things down with some teary ballads and melancholic dirges to appease all those club-fearing chillwave fans and purple sizzurp sippers. In any case, being released on Secret City should at least ensure Special Affections a short-listing for next year's Polaris Prize.
To get you up to speed with Diamond Rings' doings in advance of next week's full-on CMJ blitz and subsequent album release, here are a few revealing interview bits and some entertaining video clips... just in time for Halloween.

Diamond Rings - Special Affections (Secret City)
01. Play By Heart
02. Wait & See
03. On Our Own
04. You And Me
05. Give It Up
06. Pre-Owned Heart
07. Something Else
08. You Oughta Know
09. It’s Not My Party
10. All Yr Songs

Johnny O interviewed with The D'Urbervilles

Diamond Rings on Tunnelvision

Diamond Rings on AUX TV

Something Else

All Yr Songs

Wait & See

Show Me Your Stuff

Johnny O shows off his hoop skills

Diamond Rings tour dates:

10/20  CMJ (Stereo★Gun Party) Santos Party House (96 Lafayette) downstairs, New York (10:30 pm)

10/21  CMJ (Knitting Factory Party), Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan), Brooklyn (1 pm)

10/21  CMJ (NYC Taper Party) Cake Shop (152 Ludlow), New York (5 pm)

10/22  CMJ (Distiller Party), Knitting Factory (361 Metropolitan), Brooklyn (3:30 pm)

10/23  CMJ (Bowery Presents Party), Pianos (158 Ludlow), New York (1:30 pm)

10/23  CMJ (Pitchfork #Offline) Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe), Brooklyn (3:30 pm)

10/26  The Garrison, Toronto*

10/27  Alex P. Keaton, London*

10/28  This Ain't Hollywood, Hamilton*

10/29  Raw Sugar Café, Ottawa*

10/30  The Mansion, Kingston*

10/31  Il Motore, Montreal*

11/01  Ebar, Guelph*

11/04  Mojo, Liverpool, UK

11/05  Inside Out, Darlington, UK 

11/06  Barfly, Cardiff, UK

11/08  The Forum, Sheffield, UK

11/09  Roadmender, Northampton, UK

11/10  The Lexington, London, UK

11/11  The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, UK 

11/12  The Adelphi Club, Hull, UK

11/13  Cockpit, Leeds, UK

11/18  The Pawn Shop,  Edmonton

11/19  Broken City, Calgary

11/20  Biltmore Cabaret, Vancouver

11/23  Echo, Los Angeles

11/25  330 Ritch, San Francisco

11/28  Lucky Bar, Victoria

12/01  Empty Bottle, Chicago

12/03  DC9, Washington

12/04  Glasslands, Brooklyn

* with PS I Love You

Diamond Rings
Worst Case Ontario 
Mad As Hell

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