Heat and pressure. Both are required in order for diamonds to form and with the upcoming release of his sophomore effort, Free Dimensional, John O’Regan, better known by his stage name Diamond Rings, is poised to evolve from the proverbial ‘diamond in the rough’ to ‘a gay’s best friend’.
There’s a metamorphosis in diamond formation that’s much akin to O’Regan’s musical journey to Diamond Rings. Originally, O’Regan fronted post-punk band The D’Urbervilles (who’ve recently undergone a change of their own; they’re now known as The Matters). O’Regan was also a part of the synth-pop duo Habitat, whose songs are reminiscent of O’Regan’s current tour mates Stars.
During this time, O’Regan began crafting an honest songwriting style and a new musical persona. “Diamond Rings is an amplified version of me as a person,” O’Regan reveals. “[It’s] an attempt to embrace diversity and an attempt to embrace that within all of us there are a lot of different people and a lot of different voices.”
Those voices were first heard in late 2010 when O’Regan released Diamond Rings’ debut album Special Affections on an indie Canadian record label. The album, which was written during a period of intense pressure as O’Regan was diagnosed and treated for Crohn’s disease, caught the attention of Astralwerks who signed O’Regan and re-released the album in 2011.
The pressure continued when O’Regan was tapped as the supporting act for a leg of Robyn’s North American tour. “It was a big learning experience,” O’Regan confesses. “I’m a big believer in soaking things in and paying attention when I’m touring with other artists . . . especially ones as accomplished as [Robyn].”
O’Regan will have a chance to show off what he learned as he gears up for an extensive North American tour both as a headliner and supporting act for Canadian indie-pop band Stars. The tour is in advance of the October 22nd release date of his sophomore album Free Dimensional.
The album, co-produced by Grammy-nominated Damian Taylor (Björk and Robyn), is led by the blazing hot single “I’m Just Me”. The track features confessional verses and explodes into a pulsing chorus that every dancing queen is sure to love. With remixes by Yelle and Moti now banging through the clubs, “I’m Just Me” is burning up dance floors across the country.
Diamond Rings makes a stop in Atlanta Friday September 28th as part of the Stars show at Variety Playhouse. Excited to have a backing band for the first time since being a teenager, O’Regan says audiences should expect a high energy show. “I really take my live performances seriously,” O”Regan admits. “I think the measure of any artist or any band, in my mind, is always proven on the stage. Especially now because anyone with a good ear and a little bit of money can make a polished record.”
Well one thing is for sure. The pressure of a live show combined with a hot new album waiting in the wings will show fans just how bright Diamond Rings can shine.
Follow Diamond Rings on Twitter @Diamondrings
Follow Diamond Rings on Facebook.com/diamondringsmusic
Diamond Rings performs in support of Stars Friday September 28th at Variety Playhouse. Doors open 7:30pm; Show starts at 8:30pm.