Available on: Moshi Moshi 7″
Popular song has taught us that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and that they last forever. They sometimes come from Sierra Leone, where they are the root cause of exploitative labour practices. Diamonds can be part of a convoluted drug reference, and they can also be used to create an evocative image, particularly when juxtaposed with a humbler materials or substances, such as rust, sawdust or the soles of shoes.
In this instance, Samuel and the Dragon’s diamonds are on a boat, although any luxury and decadence implied in the title is starkly contrasted by the track’s Spartan arrangement. Consisting of little more than isolated two-note chords and the mechanical rattle of a Super-8 camera, the production serves to provide a rickety textural backdrop to the sumptuous desolation of Samuel Chase’s vocal. Some momentum is provided by a sporadic, burbling synthline, which sounds like an emaciated relative of the muscular break that propels Portishead’s ‘The Rip’. Samuel’s boat may not reach shore, but his song’s no diamond dog.