Diamond Lake New Single “Light On”

Diamond Lake’s “Light On” begins with a charging electric guitar riff. This riff then gives way to an equally driving bass part. The single is taken from the Brooklyn band’s EP Changes and is a passionately constructed piece of rock & roll.

The chorus includes the line, “Leave the light on.” Before you start picturing the Motel 6 guy giving his folksy description of that popular motel chain, just stop. Jarrod Riddle is the band’s singer, and he’s nearly begging his love to leave the light on “so I can see my way back home into your heart.” It’s a song requesting a second chance.

Riddle begins the song’s verses by expressing his confusion. He honestly doesn’t know what’s going on inside the head of his love. He may not know all the facts, but he’s nevertheless willing to work it out. “Take my hand/Tell me it’s okay,” he suggests. He’s also not confident about simply talking it all out. “What can I say?” he asks, “Words don’t mean a thing.”

After the song’s burst of guitar riff-ery, the guitars are then strummed more lightly. Riddle sounds truly riddled when he sings, “What can I know?/What’s behind that door?” You can best believe he’s not making reference to the old game show Let’s Make a Deal. No, he’s doing what a lot of people have tried to do throughout the ages, which is figure out what’s going on inside the mind of another. Perhaps his plea to have the light left on, is also a way of asking for a little emotional illumination. Let’s face it, he’s in the dark.

When a person is wandering in the dark, both physically and emotionally, the chances of stumbling and getting injured are so much greater. Yes, he wants to pursue the one he loves, but he’s not asking for too much to request a clearer view of what he’s getting into.

Sonically, it’s difficult to pin down Diamond Lake’s musical influences for this song. However, The Killers spirit is flowing through this track in places. Riddle’s voice may not be as ragged as Dramarama’s John Easdale’s is on songs like “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You),” but there is a trace of that band’s vibe coursing through this song, also.

The production on it is fairly dry. It’s not lo-fi dry, mind you, but it doesn’t have a particularly bright sonic. In places, it may remind you of some of those great old 415 Records bands, like Translator, Romeo Void and Wire Train. Back then, bands were (mostly) able to drop their cool and sing straight from their hearts. With so many of today’s hipster alternative groups, one sometimes must wonder if they’re struggling with Scarecrow disease – they lack hearts.

No questioning Diamond Lake’s open-hearted passion, however. It’s the kind of song you may not figure out with your first listen – if you figure it out at all – but you’ll feel compelled to listen again and you won’t soon forget it. And really, what more can you ask of a rock recording? Its lyrics may not shed a lot of obvious light, but this song’s very existence is a kind of a lighthouse.


-Dan MacIntosh