Canadian Electro-Pop Artist Diamonds Rings Signs with Astralwerks Records, Re-Releases Debut Album in June
The Toronto-born electro-pop artist known as Diamond Rings is the latest artist to join Bat For Lashes, Empire of the Sun, Kylie Minogue, Phoenix and more over on Astralwerks Records, the New York-based label "devoted to developing genre-defying new artists with a unique musical vision." On June 21st, Astralwerks is set to re-release Diamond Rings' debut album, Special Affections in the States.
Last year was a big one for the 25 year old Diamond Rings (AKA John O), who performed at SXSW, CMJ and toured the country with Swedish electro-pop pixie Robyn. Since releasing his album last October on Secret City Records (distributed by EMI) Diamond Rings has earned heaps of critical praise from major publications, including Pitchfork and the New York Times here in America and NME over in the UK. In his native Canada, Diamond Rings landed the cover of national monthly Exclaim! and scored an impressive #2 spot in the sixth annual hottest bands in Canada poll, right behind Arcade Fire. With such a solid critical foundation to build off of, Astralwerks is ready to take Diamond Rings' career to the next level. According to Glenn Mendlinger, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Astralwerks:
“Diamond Rings is truly original which isn’t an easy feat. John has an incredible and unique vision for Diamond Rings but first and foremost he is an outstanding songwriter. We are very excited to be working with Diamond Rings to help nurture his career by offering him our vast network of expertise and resources."Diamond Rings first came to be in the summer of 2009 when Toronto-based artist/musician John O released a homemade video for debut single, "All Yr Songs." The video earned Diamond Rings international acclaim, both for the song itself as well as for his androgynous/nerd/hipster/chic style sensibilities featured prominently throughout the video. The single, which was released as a limited edition 7", went on to receive "Best New Music" honors at Pitchfork and proceeded to sell out in just weeks. Follow up single, "Wait & See" was also released as a limited edition 7" and featured a buzz-generating video which got good exposure at SXSW and led to opening act spots with a diverse array of artists including La Roux, and Owen Pallet. Diamond Rings released two additional singles before his album dropped, the most recent being "Something Else" which featured a dancey cover of Milla Jovovich's "Gentlemen Who Fell" as a B-Side. Co-produced by Diamond Rings and James Bunton, Secret City Records released Special Affections on October 25th. Exclaim! went on to call the album the #11 Pop & Rock Album of 2010.
"Special Affections 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'."And in Diamond Rings' own words:
"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."Diamond Rings' Astralwerks Records debut not only features all of the album's singles, but fans also get seven new songs, all stylishly packaged with care and designed by the artist himself. "It's folk music for the iPod generation." What a perfect description. Check out the flamboyantly fun video for "Wait & See" below and check out this Pitchfork Tunnelvision Documentary featuring Diamond Rings. Check out Diamond Rings on iTunes including a hot house remix of his single "Show Me Your Stuff."