Diamond Rings: Special Affections

Since being a member of the Canadian indie rock quartet The D’Urbervilles, lead singer John O’Regan decided in the summer of 2008 it was time to create his own project: Diamond Rings. In the fall of 2010, Montreal’s Secret City Records issued Diamond Ring’s full-length album, Special Affections in North America. Following the debut, Diamond Rings went on tour opening for Swedish pop sensation Robyn, throughout much of her Body Talk Tour in winter 2011. Since signing with New York City’s Astralwerks Records, Diamond Rings’ Special Affections will be re-released on June 21.

The 10-track record begins with “Play By Heart,” a deep and emotional synth-pop song. At this point, I could already tell this album is going to be full of poetic genius. The next song kicks it up a notch with “Wait & See,” featuring bright guitar strumming, synthesizers and a strong beat. Reminding me of a fashionable David Bowie and an out-spoken Talking Heads is “On Your Own,” the lyrics of which paint the picture with instruments playing the simplest of parts. Meanwhile, “You & Me” is a quirky love story unraveling common struggles couples encounter. Playing with words back and forth is “Pre-Owned Heart,” about remaining strong when a relationship has run its course. The single “All Yr Songs” helps to finish the album off with short and sweet calming “ohhs” and “ahhs” carrying the song to its end.

It’s amazing how much of the writing he had done for this album was in a hospital bed when he was diagnosed and treated for Crohn’s Disease using only a guitar and a cheap keyboard. With that, I think that this is a pretty good album for the twenty-something visionary. On another positive note, he’s different from many of the other up and coming artists we have out there. He’s got the look and musical talent to back him where I’ll look forward to his next project.

In A Word: Visual