One of the activities that I’m involved with at Duke is helping out with the on-campus record label, Small Town Records. I specifically work with a student band called DIADEM, and you can check out (and like!) their Facebook page here.
DIADEM is a self-proclaimed post-indie electropop outfit, and they are some of the most creative and talented students at Duke. The members of the band are Christina Lan (lead vocals, guitar, keys, loop pedal, synths), Natalie Chin (violin, viola, ukulele, mandolin, and miscellaneous strings), Julian Xie (guitar, vocals, bass, cajon), and Jack Gillette (drum machine, keys, synths, production). One of the tenets that DIADEM goes by is combing acoustic, electronic, and computerized sound, and this is evident in everything that they record. They combine standard rock instruments like guitar and bass with less traditional sounds such as vocal loops, synthesizers, violins, and a laptop-fueled drum machine. One of DIADEM’s most recent singles is called “Queen”, and the music video for the track was just released yesterday, after months of hard work and editing from the band as well as other Small Town crew members.
Being a college student is tough enough, but these guys are able to pull off being in a band as well, which is pretty incredible. Click here for DIADEM’s SoundCloud page if you want to peruse more of their material. Here’s another one of their music videos, for a song called “Trouble”.
While DIADEM have created some pretty sweet original songs, they also have some amazing cover songs up their sleeves. For example, check out this mash-up of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” and Lorde’s “Royals”, a song which I admittedly have a soft spot for despite what I may have written about it previously.
Working with DIADEM has been an awesome experience so far, and I have a hunch that they will do great things in the future. They have successfully synthesized the sounds of other modern indie artists into something that is truly their own. We can only guess what they will come up with next!
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