Diamond Youth – Orange (EP)


Artist

Album

Orange (EP)

Label

Topshelf Records

Year

2013

For Fans Of

Weezer - Jimmy Eat World

Summary

Another step in the right direction for Diamond Youth.

Rating

80 / 100

Despite featuring members of hardcore bands Terror, Down To Nothing and Trapped Under Ice, Diamond Youth are best known for their catchy melodies, three-part harmonies and overall 90s-inspired alternative pop/rock sound. Don’t Lose Your Cool, the band’s 2011 EP, delivered an assortment of relevant, accessible tunes, and their latest release, Orange, picks up right where its predecessor left off.

The six-track EP opens with ‘Cannonball’, a dynamic number driven by a strong beat and memorable guitar riff. Justin Gilman’s smooth vocals add a seductive quality to the song, complemented by well-placed, somewhat spectral harmonies. ‘Separator’ follows, providing one of the record’s many high points. Through ethereal vocal melodies, the song gradually ascends during its verses to reach a soaring chorus.

Although most of Orange’s tracks adhere to a similar formula, there are moments where the band mixes things up. Beginning as a wistful ballad, ‘Come Down’ sharply changes pace when its first chorus hits. The transition in style and speed is initially jarring, however, the song gains more cohesion as its overall momentum picks up.

At just over two minutes in length, the record’s title track flies by, yet still makes an impression. Sonically consistent with the rest of the EP, the song shines with seamlessly executed harmonies, which add to a melody distinctly reminiscent of the 90s.

The laidback energy of Orange works well for the most part, but as illustrated in ‘Swinging From You’, has a tendency to fall flat at times. The heavy, infectious percussion of the song’s intro and verses lays an ideal backdrop for Gilman’s vocals, but without it, the song lacks the same impact throughout its chorus.

Mellow and uncomplicated, ‘Lola’ is a fitting way to close the record. Gilman’s effortless vocals are a standout aspect as he eases in and out of falsetto, matching the subdued tone of the song.

Outside influences permeate Orange as they did Don’t Your Lose Cool, spanning from Weezer and Jimmy Eat World to The Beach Boys. While Diamond Youth uses elements of these artists to craft something of a nostalgic aesthetic, the band has also created their own unique, contemporary sound. The nuances that made Diamond Youth’s last release stand out are still present on Orange, with this record also demonstrating the band’s progression in songwriting.

Conclusion

Orange sees Diamond Youth achieve the perfect balance between evolving and retaining their original appeal. Short, sweet and undeniably catchy, the band’s latest EP is likely to gain deserved interest and acclaim from a wide range of listeners.

Tracklisting

1. Cannonball
2. Separator
3. Come Down
4. Orange
5. Swinging From You
6. Lola

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