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.

Colin McKean



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