Kayla Diamond - "Carnival Hearts" (Cadence Music): The law profession’s loss is music’s gain in the case of this highly promising Toronto pop singer/songwriter.
Diamond's decision to abandon law school and follow her muse paid off when she won Slaight Music's prestigious It's Your Shot contest in early 2016. Since then, the singer has worked steadily with producer Craig McConnell (Divine Brown, Keshia Chante) on her debut EP, Beautiful Chaos, due this summer.
“Carnival Hearts” is the first single, and it’s a stunner. It starts with just vocals and piano, a nice frame for lyrics that grab your attention (“we’re the lost ones in the night, got our fingers intertwined, wild and free”).
A big sounding production kicks in with multi-tracked vocals and a solid beat, followed by a return to a sparser setting. The dynamic flow of the track parallels the ups and downs of a carnival rollercoaster, to beguiling effect.
The single shows that Diamond is an emotionally expressive singer, with Lorde as an apt reference point. Lyrically, she sets the song in an abandoned amusement park, explaining that “I started writing when I felt empty. It's a revival of something presumed to be unusable and abandoned."
The single has definite airplay potential, and we eagerly anticipate hearing more.
As well as prepping her EP, Diamond has earned praise within the EDM community for her vocal work on tracks by Kiso and Anveo (the Spotify hit "Feel Something").