New Music You Need To Know: Baltimore’s Diamond Youth
Beyond the blue-collar hard rock scene that gets more than its share of mainstream exposure in Baltimore–and emerging from the indie rock scene that hails from venues such as the Charm City Art Space, the Coward Shoe, Club K, and until recently, the Bell Foundry–comes a quartet from the neighborhood of Hampden by the name of Diamond Youth, whose relentless work ethic, DIY ethos and embrace of 21st-century communication have yielded a result that is amassing fans quickly and a song named “Cannonball” that’s getting regular airplay on HFS, the station they grew up on (and subsequently, other radio stations across the country).
The band has only been together for a little over two years, and although they’re based out of Baltimore, a couple of the members are anchored in Chicago and Richmond, so they’ve bridged the gap using tools like three-way iChat, Garage Band, and voice note files. With a couple of solid EPs already under their belt, they enlisted the studio talents of experienced Baltimore-based producer Brian McTernan of Salad Days Studio (who has previously worked with Thrice, Circa Survive, Hot Water Music, and The Movielife, among others) to create their latest EP, entitled Orange.
The band was proud of the new record, but wasn’t making any bets on where it would take them. “Putting out a new record is kind of like raising a kid and then sending it to school for the first time,” says guitarist Sam Trapkin. “Like, you think you did a good job raising it, and you have this really intimate relationship, then all the sudden they’re out in the world meeting new people. And you know your kid doesn’t stink but they’re kind of different than the rest and you’re really proud but what if everyone else hates them and think they suck? You know?”
Lots of catchy influences go into this band’s work…ranging from modern rock bands like Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Weezer to pop acts as classic as The Beach Boys. All of these influences contribute to a sound where flowing harmonies melt into driving guitars, and something that’s as fierce as it is dreamy. As stated in the quote with which they start their own bio, “Diamond Youth is like the end of that romantic comedy where the lead actress finally realizes the guy she’s truly searching for has been by her side the entire time.”
Silkscreen printing their own t-shirts, directing and editing their own videos, designing their own album art, subjecting themselves to a vigorous touring schedule, and taking on all the newfound attention will inevitably cut into their skateboarding time, but we doubt they’ll mind. Expect to see and hear a ton from this band as the rest of this year rolls forward.
If Diamond Youth impresses you as much as they impress us, it’s not too late to be an early believer. Buy their new EP Orange on iTunes or on Amazon (or, if you’re old school, at The Sound Garden in Fells Point), and get to know ‘em better on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube.
Oh, and if our own affection for this band isn’t enough for you, perhaps you’ll accept an endorsement by Hayley Williams of Paramore, who proudly rocked some of their merch on their Asian tour earlier this year.