Chum - Jacob Diamond [EP Review]

Photo: Matt Sav

Photo: Matt Sav

Words: Thomas Munday

Singer-songwriter Jacob Diamond is, for fear of making a lame gag, a true find. His alt-folk style has wowed audiences since his first performances at just 16-years-old. Since then, the award-winning Perth artist, touring and recording with his one-of-a-kind band O’Boys, has ascended up the ranks whilst staying true to his style.

Diamond’s second EP, Chum, is a gripping assortment of strong, catchy numbers – a playground for Diamond to experiment with sounds and flourishes. The young, blue-eyed wonder subverts his folk-blues style, leaning away from sweet, soulful stories to ballsy jazz-inspired tracks. The opening tracks establish Diamond’s attention to detail and level of sophistication. Welcome to the Valley marks the EP’s most accessible track; a subdued, sprawling insight into Diamond’s style. Bolstered by his trademark hearty, soothing vocals, the track saunters along to the grace of silky guitar riffs.

The album moves at a purposeful, slow-burn click, shuffling from one concept to the next spilling from Diamond’s consciousness. Singapore Sling is an EP highlight, emphasising his ambitiousness and care compared to similar folk acts. The track is a gritty, grimy number, throwing together unique hooks, grunge riffs, and a thick, heavy drum-line to create a versatile and complex daydream-esque narrative.

Someday My Prince Will Come draws from many of underground Australian folk music’s most interesting sounds and styles. Highlighting Diamond’s impressive vocals and raw energy, this abbreviated number is a light diversion from Singapore Sling’s experimental, multi-layered ramblings. Similarly, If And When I Die pulls from Inside Llewyn Davis’ aura – a pacey, assertive track fit for an extended, philosophically enlightening road trip or two.

The EP’s final track, On The Road To St. Ives further diverts from convention for Diamond. Accompanied by blissful plucking strings and keys, Diamond and co. further accentuate the atmosphere and impact of this emotional spiritual experience. Chum is a delectable, intriguing creation worthy of multiple listens over summer.