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Black Diamond Bay Come the Desert The first album. Out soon.
“Poised and delicate” TRAFFIC MAGAZINE “Amazing” WHO’S JACK “Beautiful” JOHN KENNEDY XFM “Epic” MTV “Amazing” NO TITLE “Spine tingling” METRO
Take two excellent vocalists, add an Iranian electric guitarist with a penchant for effects pedals, add one drummer with an electronic kit and a mac, throw in a seasoned bass player, a laptop wizard and the occasional violin, mix in some beautifully written songs with catchy choruses and you have music that’s pretty hard to describe but brilliant to listen to.
Black Diamond Bay are a Leeds based 6 piece who, as the line up suggests, bring together a wide array of influences. Is it folkie ? indie ?? electro??? indie folkatronica???? Who knows and does the label really matter? Like all good music this is unclassifiable What counts is the power of the music and Black Diamond Bay stand out as a band with the live intensity and magnetism to endure for more than the regulatory ‘15 seconds of fame’.
Black Diamond Bay already have a colourful history that includes a childhood Eurovision experience, broadcast script writing, being the number one act on a popular Lithuanian website for 2009 and playing the main stage to great acclaim at Kendal Calling, with support coming from BBC Radio Leeds, Kiss, 6 Music and XFM even before they actually released a record
The first single ‘Worship The Sun’ was picked up by Mixmag featuring in their March podcast it also got 8/10 in iDJ Magazine where the reviewer struggled manfully to explain why the band sounded so good but could only conclude that they just did. More play and support came from BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 1 , Tom Robinson and Eddy Temple Morris.
And there’s more, these guys are not just studio boffins Black Diamond Bay play a storming live show . A string of festival appearances including Deer Shed, Kendal Calling, Bingley Live, Moor Music Festival The Big Chill and the Vampires Ball at Bram Stokers International Film Festival have, without exception, left the audience wanting more.
The first album from Black Diamond Bay – Come the Desert – contains 11 elegantly crafted songs Here’s what Jesse BDB front man and songwriter in chief has to say about them
Hearts – We were listening to Kraftwerk at the time and as if by magic, our beloved Virus synthesizer started making the sort of noises they might have been proud of. The beat came naturally enough following the rhythms of the synth and as for the vocal, well, I had a post card sent to me from New York with the line ‘We know in our heart that you lied.’ Tony Blair was on the television a lot back then. The words just flowed from that.
The Levels – We spent so much time with them we began to feel a level of attachment to the machines that made our music. One day we clean forgot they weren’t real and wrote a love song from them to us. We were bored of loving something that had no conceptual awareness of the world around it so we gave it life. And feelings. And we directed those feelings at ourselves, because we’re egotists.
Philharmonic Bubbles – When I was sixteen I was in love with a girl who had golden hair and bright blue eyes and the sort of smile that makes men lay down their weapons and write poetry. She saved me once from drowning. I jumped clean off a cliff face into the cool, blue waters off the coast of some sun kissed isle and lost consciousness. It was her arms that pulled me out. Her breath that filled my lungs. Her eyes I saw when mine opened. And years later, it was her who broke my heart and left me for another. Why save someone just so you can kill them a few years down the line?
Bank Robbers – I had a dream that I was a bank robber dying in a hail of bullets with my partner by my side. It was a beautiful, filmic dream so we made a song about it. We were experimenting at the time with using the voice as an instrument, cutting up various sounds we made and using them as we might use a guitar or piano. That gave us the hook that starts the song. Tom wrote the piano in his head and programmed it into the computer. He’s always doing that. The coalition of the stuttering vocal hook and the sweeping violins and pianos effects a kind of nervous beauty, we like to think.
Worship The Sun – It’s about a lonely priest questioning everything he’s every believed and letting his mind wonder out over the possibilities of one day having a family and leaving his former life behind. The sun gives life. His heart is turned by that fact. Musically we wanted to experiment with a bluegrass beat played by an electro kit. We liked the way the vocal pops along the top of it.
Speak Slow – The vocal was written to another tune played at a house party. I sang / shouted it into my phone. We took that to a rehearsal for the band to set it to music. It was one of our most collaborative pieces and was done and dusted in a couple of hours. It’s quite aggressive, musically, which is what happens when you write a tune after being stuck in a room together for five hours. The lyrics concern the drunken ramblings of a man at a party who was convinced he knew the secrets to life and was willing to bestow them upon us but he was so high he couldn’t really get past the promise.
Tides – Built around a descending piano coda and washed through with backwards vocals this is a song about the primacy of music over all else. I’ve forgotten a lot of my life. I used to get all chewed up with worry about the stuff I’d forgotten. Whether it be my childhood or my house keys. But when you hear music you stop thinking about all the bad stuff and just go with it. Well that’s what this song is about and hopefully by the time the violin starts playing that beautiful, stumbling, torn up melody you’ve forgotten what you were worrying about too
Babydoll Loose – This track was recorded via the internet. It was a song Jesse had written about a girl he once knew who was more interested in the money he would make than the soul in his body. He wondered how he could fall for someone like that. It troubled him. We emailed the track to a Norwegian girl by the name of Tuva Sofia Andersen who lives in Oslo. Tom used to teach her back in the day. She had a voice you couldn’t get out of your head. She recorded it in her bedroom, adding her own harmonies and sent it back. Tom added the violin parts and Ben Ziapour fleshed out the guitar and there you have it, Babydoll Loose
Cold – A track that evolved over time. Tom recorded Rob McVey of Longview playing his Spanish guitar and built a track around it called Spanish Sadness complete with the piano and violins you hear today. When Jesse heard it he thought of death and wrote a vocal part imagining two lovers dying side by side in a car crash. It was a fairly on the nose metaphor for where he was at the time, romantically. The vocal was sung by Emma Sargison and added to the track. The Spanish guitar says far more than the words ever will though.
I Won’t Forget You – This is a song in which we wanted to crash styles together. We found the drum fill by listening to samples that would in no way work with the music we make. We then created this totemic, Phil Collins style fill to drop us into the beat. It shouldn’t work but it does. The music is used to mirror the words all the way through. There are small details that you’ll hear if you listen closely, of the way the music interacts with the words around it. We’re not giving them away here though. Lyrically it’s about the difficulty of breathing life into yourself after several failures of the heart. About how you kind of get to needing the pain.
Peace – Because sometimes you have to get angry about something
Release date: Mar 14, 2011