Akron band Diamond Kites announces a new EP, titled “Working Life,” featuring three songs recorded before the pandemic and finished during the quarantine.
The EP will be released Friday, May 22 on all digital platforms, with a livestream release show Saturday, May 23, at 8 p.m., on the group’s Facebook page (facebook.com/diamondkites). The show is sponsored by Central 8 Studios and Musica (the venue originally slated to host the real life concert.) A portion of proceeds generated from the livestream will be donated to Akron independent music venue Musica, whose staff has been affected by the shutdown.
“Since it’s my actual birthday, we had the whole thing planned to do a blowout with all of our friends at Musica for the release show, but hey, the show must go on in some form, right?” said Jeff Klemm, singer-songwriter for the band.
Diamond Kites, along with virtually every band and musician around the world, has seen a busy spring and summer booked solid with concerts all canceled. “All shows are canceled until further notice. We had big festivals and super big shows planned, but now we have to resort to online concerts,” Klemm added. “I’ve done a slew of solo streams, but this is our first full band livestream. The whole music industry is hurting, musicians, venues, promoters, bartenders, servers, literally everyone in the entertainment industry.”
Klemm has worked in music venues since he was 16 and plays almost 100 solo shows a year to support himself and his family. “Now more than ever, we have to support our local music venues and musicians or they’re not gonna make it through the year, and we’re happy to support one of our favorite places to play,” he added.
The working class anthemic title track “Working Life” kicks off the EP with gang vocals shouting “Guess I’m alive, or am I asleep in life’s waiting room?” setting the tone for the EP. “The concept stems from my own personal experience as a 9 to 5 worker. We all have that one coworker or friend who sarcastically says ‘living the dream,’ and this song is that hopeless sentiment personified as if they were looking back wondering how they got stuck in that rut for so long,” said Klemm, whose jobs have ranged from sound engineer to booking agent, factory worker, wedding singer and preschool teacher.
“The lyrics definitely feel different now that so many of us are out of work due to the pandemic; however, I’m sure the heroes on the frontlines of this pandemic are feeling “Overworked, Underpaid. Sell my soul for minimum wage/ I wanted more / I thought I’d saved myself from mundane.” Two of Diamond Kites members are essential workers. Bassist Mario Tonathy is a mechanic, and drummer Mike Karl is a delivery driver. Both musicians have been working extra on top of their full time hours during the pandemic for the greater good of the community.
Mixing and mastering for “Working Life” were done by Nathan Doutt at Central 8 Studios in Akron. Artwork was created by local artist Jillian Baughman.
The full band interactive livestream will take place on the group’s Facebook page (facebook.com/diamondkites) Saturday, May 23 at 8 p.m. A portion of proceeds generated from the livestream Release Show will be donated to Akron independent music venue Musica’s staff affected by the shutdown. All social distancing safety measures will be upheld during the stream, including masks and lots of hand sanitizer. Find out more information on Diamond Kites at diamondkitesband.com.