Play By Heart
On Our Own
You & Me
Give It Up
You Oughta Know
It's Not My Party
First conceived in the summer of 2009 by Toronto-based multiplatform artist John O, Diamond Rings burst onto the scene with a series of singles and videos featuring green screen camera trickery, over the top choreography, and daring androgynous outfits and makeup. The videos received international praise from both the online media and fashionistas alike. The singles, pressed to limited edition vinyl, sold out in a matter of weeks and received critical praise including "Best New Music" honors from Pitchfork.
Although initially pegged in some corners as a novelty act, audiences soon began to identify with Diamond Rings' uniquely lyrical brand of pop songwriting and his overtly glamorous live sets. Showcasing real human emotion and honest vulnerability is rare enough for a 24-year-old let alone one who matches his eye shadow with his Air Force Ones while dancing about onstage with the reckless abandon of a teenager in the bathroom mirror. But there's something surprisingly mature shimmering beneath the glamour, hidden in John O's immediately iconic voice, and whip-smart lyrics.
Now Diamond Rings is finally settling down long enough to deliver a fully realized album, the much anticipated "Special Affections". In keeping with his predilection for confounding public expectation, the album dabbles in a wide range of styles and soundscapes. Spacey slow jams give way to aggressive guitar rock that leads seamlessly into shuddering club beats and soaring synth lines. Tying everything together are the heartfelt lyrical sentiments of a young artist interested in far more than getting his audience to "just dance.”
"I'd compare my music to the Starz on 54 cover of Gordon Lightfoot's ‘If You Could Read My Mind’ that they did for the soundtrack to the movie Studio 54," John O says, adding, "I do not believe that there needs to be a disconnect between popular music and lyrical honesty."
He’s really fun to watch and this live preview has me really looking forward to the new record!
Diamond Rings is favoring much bigger and more polished production for this one, and and can definitely no longer be referred to as bedroom pop. That's not necessarily a bad thing though
Last month, Toronto electro-pop musician John O’Regan (AKA Diamond Rings) released his new single, “I’m Just Me”. And now, he’s announced his sophomore album: Free Dimensional
O'Regan, sauntering through a desert sandstorm to the sound of whiny '90s hip-hop synths and computerized handclaps. It's only 30 seconds long, but 30 seconds is more than enough to get fans psyched for Free Dimensional's October release.
Diamond Rings is pleased to announce that he will be rounding out an incredible year by supporting Junior Boys on a slew of European tour dates kicking off in Stockholm on November 18th. In addition to the tour, Diamond Rings’ critically acclaimed debut full-length Special Affections will be available in Europe on November 1st courtesy of Astralwerks.
Diamond Rings will also release a limited edition 7” featuring the choice Special Affections cut You & Me on the A-Side. The flip side sees John O apply his signature danceable interpretation to Teenage Fanclub’s Mellow Doubt. The digital version is already available on iTunes in Europe and North America, with the vinyl available on the European tour and in Canada as of November 29 via Secret City.
Listen To O’Regan’s cover of Teenage Fanclub’s “Mellow Doubt” here courtesy of Pitchfork.
"I remember at the end of the night as John was desperately trying to hail a cab, a man came up to me and asked “Are you with her?” I said “Yes - she’s wasted and it’s time for me to take her home.”"
"Diamond Rings is equal parts neon bright colours and gangly tree-limbs, smeared lipstick and a great shaved head, amazing sweet lyrics and Casiotone overload."
"Sure, we get countless excellent shows in Los Angeles. Hell, we even got at least three last weekend. But, Diamond Rings brought something special and memorable to the table"
"The songs, when they are bare and shivering as they are here, with stark instrumentation - accompaniment from a single guitar pulled down from the studio wall or the upright piano in the corner - are bleeding and pulsing examples of hypersensitivity and of a narrator who has been to some dark places."
"Diamond Rings’ debut, Special Affections, has four or five of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard this year... some seriously well-crafted, catchy music."
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