Diamond Dancer
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Diamond Dancer


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"Man Your Horse, with Diamond Dancer, Previous Tenants, and We Are Gaze. February 11 @ The Railway Club."

Sizzle Teen Records’ label launch show at the Railway was a bit like stepping into a poor man’s time machine: while there were a few times during the night that I felt the tugging of 2012, for the most part I spent the evening snug in the nostalgia of the ’90s, listening to bands that sounded like as much a part of my childhood as Pokémon and Saved By The Bell.

We Are Gaze opened the festivities with a solid round of pop-punk songs that would have fit into MTV’s music rotation right after Blink-182. The trio were pretty radio friendly, rooted firmly in a triangle pattern on stage and getting progressively fuzzier as the set went on. It’s hard not to draw direct comparisons to the bands of my youth, and frontman Robert Watt’s vocal delivery has a lot of Billie Joe Armstrong (of Green Day for those who were too old/too young for Dookie) riding behind it, even if the lyrics were more about girls than getting high.

Keeping with the “music-I-listened-to-when-I-was-14? trend, second act Previous Tenants played straight-up skate-punk with exceptional energy behind their guitarist Joel Tong, who pulled off mid-breakdown scissor-kicks with aplomb. Trading vocal duties with Jesse Gander on bass, songs bounced between anthemic, full-steam-ahead punk tributes and chaotic, treble-heavy thrash tunes. Previous Tenants played what could be described as a messy set as, in stark contrast to the openers, the three musicians were covered in sweat (and flinging it into the audience, on occasion) by the end of their session.

Diamond Dancer are a complicated band to write about. Although self-described as dream pop, I saw a lot more in common with fledgling emo bands Rites Of Spring and Sunny Day Real Estate, if those groups had incorporated a female keyboardist and one of the tightest drummers I’ve ever seen. Fairly straight-forward melodic verse/chorus combinations were broken up with long instrumental flourishes that demonstrated a shoegaze/post-rock musical proficiency, and it was these breakdowns that really set Diamond Dancer apart.

The night capped off with an intimate set by Man Your Horse — if you want to call setting up on the floor, inviting the crowd as close as possible, then smashing their eardrums in with pummeling volume “intimate”. Julian Marrs is an exceptional guitarist, and finding the drummer willing to keep pace with his mathy, time-signature-destroying riffs in Scott Petrie must have been a feat, especially in “So Bronze It’s Gold”. The dynamic duo played with massive grins on their faces, and even as those at the front ogled the crazy technical skills of the two, the entire crowd was smiling just as wide and trying to keep time to their loop-based madness. Although Man Your Horse didn’t exactly keep with the 90s theme, they ended the nostalgic night in style. - Discorder Magazine

"New Music: Long Distance Relationships Rarely Work Out"

Vancouver’s Diamond Dancer is a collective of long-time friends whose past is checkered with forays into hardcore punk and a present full of shimmering guitar hooks and shoegaze overtones. They’ve recently released a five-song EP called Will You?, to which I answer, “Yes, I most definitely will.” The three piece classifies their time as members of bands Jakartah and American Geography as “dysfunctional”, but from the sounds of things, Diamond Dancer is well on the way to recovery. “the track I’ve posted below, “Long Distance Relationships Rarely Work Out” is an impressive, epic ballad that sort of reminds me of Songs From the Big Chair-era Tears For Fears (an album that I have long loved and cherished). They’ve definitely got an ambitious sound, and the more I listen, the more I’m digging it. - Quick Before it Melts (blog)

"Instant Playlist - September 15, 2011"

Diamond Dancer
Sleeping in Mount Pleasant (Independent)
Some songs sound like fall, all October-chill guitars and postpunk drums and bass. Add vocals that are part ethereal, part wistful, and you’ve got a great reason to stay in bed all day next Sunday, hitting repeat. - The Georgia Straight

"Emo is not a dirty word"

As our Indian summer gives way to a coastal autumn, a certain pop soundtrack eases the fall. The sound that evokes the warmth of drinking from the sun-heated garden hose in that hang time before the water runs clean and cold, before the lines are bled until spring. Diamond Dancer taps the mains just fine.

Through the smog of their elusive namesake, Diamond Dancer has been quietly building a reputation around Vancouver. “We played in punk and hardcore bands our whole life,” says singer and guitarist Richie Fudalewski, who formerly fronted bands such as Jakartah and Yell at Birds. Now with Diamond Dancer, Fudalewski is refocused on the pop form, drawing influence from a time when emo had yet to become a dirty word. “We grew up when emo meant Mineral and Sunny Day Real Estate. Now, (along with drummer Evan Heggen, keyboardist Carmen Leah and bassist Rafael Ceppetelli) we all have the courage to start a band like that, rather than hiding behind distortion.”

The newfound focus on songwriting is evident on Will You?, their recently released five-track EP. Recorded live off the floor by Stuart McKillop at The Hive Creative Labs, the EP boasts an organic approach to recording, with no more than a single guitar overdub. “Some of my favorite albums were on a four-track,” says Fudalewski, citing releases by the Get Up Kids and Elliott. “We’re trying to get back to that approach to recording.”

Out of the studio, Diamond Dancer has been gigging regularly. In addition to booking upcoming shows at LanaLou’s and The Cobalt, Diamond Dancer will be battling it out at this year’s Shindig! Competition. Given the city’s considerable influence on the group and its members, playing Vancouver’s favourite perennial showcase is only fitting. “In Vancouver, you get to live your life on your own terms more than, say, a city like Toronto,” says Fudalewski. “Living here has let us figure out what our intentions were, with a clear mind, from day one.”

This lucidity is what sets Diamond Dancer apart from many of their contemporaries. While there is a beauty to bands that put out that one single, play five shows, then explode, there’s a grace in a band that glides forward and grows with age. “It comes from experience,” says Fudalewski, “and it comes from a dysfunctional hardcore background. You learn what to do by knowing what you don’t want to do.” With plans for a future full-length and northwest touring, Diamond Dancer is poised to apply those lessons for many seasons to come.

- Beatroute


Will You? (EP)
Release Date: July 26, 2011

Main Street Kids (Live Single)
Release Date: October 11, 2011



Pop/alt/shoegazers Diamond Dancer release music exclusively on Sizzle Teen Records. Within the first two months of playing shows, Diamond Dancer were featured in Beatroute and VanMusic.ca, and were selected as a top pick in the Georgia Straight‘s instant playlist. This propelled the band to be selected to participate in CITR 101.9 FM‘s SHiNDiG competition. The band’s debut EP, Will You? has been highly regarded by blogs worldwide, mainly in the U.S., U.K./Europe and Canada.

Diamond Dancer followed this up with the release of their video for “Sleeping In Mount Pleasant” (the band’s most popular song to date) as well as a live 2-song single titled “Main Street Kids” which was recorded during their set for SHiNDiG.

In January 2012, Diamond Dancer aligned with emerging Vancouver indie label Sizzle Teen Records, and is currently writing their full-length album, due out in early 2013.