Music Spotlight: Blonde Diamond
alt-pop band Blonde diamond, formerly known as youngblood, captivated los angeles last month when they took the stage at the moroccan lounge. the vancouver-based band, composed of Alexis Young, Malcolm Holt, Bruce Ledingham, Louis Wu, + Pascal LeVasseur, just released Fantasy Love, a dreamy yet electrifying 6-track ep. We chatted with alexis about the ep, andy warhol + human connections.
Asymmetric Magazine: Congrats on your new EP Fantasy Love. Can you tell us what this project is all about?
Alexis Young: The title was based on an Andy Warhol quote [‘Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting. The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.’] and this idea that never doing something is sometimes better than actually doing it. The theme of the EP is about fantasizing something in your mind and creating a world that you want to explore, but your logical brain knows it’s probably something bad for you. Ultimately, Fantasy Love is about being able to experience something without actually having to do it.
AM: We love that you drew inspiration from Andy Warhol, who’s one of our biggest inspirations at the magazine. Was that quote something that stuck with you or did you happen to come across it?
AY: I actually read that quote like ten years ago, and I can’t remember how I came across it, but it resonated with me way back then. I have such a vivid imagination, and when I first heard that quote, I related to it. We actually had an alternate title for the EP, and randomly someone on the Internet shared that Andy Warhol quote that I hadn’t heard in years, and I was like, ‘oh my god, that’s exactly the content of the EP and way more applicable than the other title.’ The quote came into my life again at the perfect time.
AM: What other themes do you guys typically pursue in your music?
AY: I’ve always gravitated toward interpersonal relationships, whether romantic or platonic. I find the chemistry between human beings really interesting. I’ve never been able to be a super political writer, though I’ve tried because I’m really frustrated with the political climate. I always felt like that came across as disingenuous because I couldn’t find a way to vocalize how I was feeling. Ultimately, the songs that I’m most excited about are about human connection, relationships and how strange it is that as human beings, we’re literally meat sacks walking around with electricity pumping through us. And somehow, you’re able to find another meat sack with electricity pumping through them that you connect with and other people that you don’t. How fucked up is that—that you could just want to be with one person so badly and get to know them so badly, and then there’s other people that you can’t even stand being in the same room as? Why is that? What is it about our magnetic connection that makes us want to be with one person and not another? It doesn’t make sense to me, and I just want to write about it.
What is it about our magnetic connection that makes us want to be with one person and not another? It doesn’t make sense to me, and I just want to write about it.
AM: Do you think that people have the ability to connect with everyone?
AY: No—absolutely not. It’s like a battery; you have your positive and negative side. When you have two sides that match, it’s this incredible, electric connection that sparks and inspires you, and you feel charged and amazing. And then you have other people that drain you, don’t inspire you and make you feel less of a human being.
AM: You used to be Youngblood. What was the evolution into Blonde Diamond?
AY: New name, same great taste—everything is literally the same. Even though the musical evolution of any band happens from album to album, we felt the name change was like a shedding of skin and growing into our new selves.
AM: So you guys have been playing a lot a shows. Do you have a favorite track to play live?
AY: Our song Better When You’re Close is a really fun one to play. That song is really personal to me, and it’s a funny thing to play night after night. At first, it was hard to go through that emotional process every time we’d play the song, but now it’s become routine. There’s still a part of performing that song that gives me the feels.
AM: What other musicians are you listening to right now?
AY: I’m really into Kali Uchis. We saw her in Vancouver, and it was phenomenal. I’m also really into Sunset Rollercoaster. There’s a guy from Winnipeg, Canada called Slow Leaves. He’s folk, and he’s a really beautiful lyricist. Also from Winnipeg, Andy Shauf—he’s absolutely incredible. He wrote this whole album called The Party, which is a concept album about fictional characters at a party. It’s so beautiful.
AM: What’s next for you guys after this EP?
AY: After this EP, we’re going to try to get back to Europe. We went twice last year and would love to go back soon. We have some more singles coming out at the top of 2019. We’re also going on a tour with Dear Rouge in Canada, which will be really awesome.
// listen to Fantasy Love:
// Listen to more Blonde Diamond on Spotify.