[Album Review] Nick Diamonds- City of Quartz
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Release Date: May 26th, 2015
Label: Manque Music

You may know Nick Diamonds as an ex-Unicorns member, or Islands frontman, or more recently, the dude who wrote the Serial theme. Yeah the one that is like piano chords.  Anyways, he dropped an album recently called City of Quartz, his second solo album after I Am An Attic.

Strangely, if you miss the Unicorns, there’s elements of them in this album. There’s a sort of fantasy universe that he creates with the electronics. The opener and title track is completely instrumental electronics, one that would pair well soundtracking a video game (or maybe even another podcast).

Despite the glitteriness, there is a weird darkness, mystery about Diamonds that he plays with in the lyrics (“Love is a Stranger”, “The Mind Reels”).  “Witch Window” is a positive sounding tune that celebrates triumph over harder times. It’s definitely an album full of quirkiness which doesn’t always transition well from song to song. “Where is the Elephant” abruptly starts with samples of people talking in different languages. But once in a while there’s a masterpiece like “Ungrievable Lives” that makes all the mishaps forgivable.

These aren’t your regular pop songs, sometimes they may come off that way but there’s a tension to everything on City of Quartz that never gets resolved, almost purposefully. It’s kind of like Diamonds wants you to feel angst, not be comfortable enough to sit still and you shouldn’t need to because this album can get you dancing the robot. Though what you may be grooving to might be bizzare. For example “I’m Nobody” samples quotes from Charles Manson. Didn’t think you would be dancing to murderous quotes would you now?  This album leaves me with all sorts of uncomfortable every time.