Glass Candy

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Portland, Oregon’s dark electro/synth pop duo Glass Candy morphed greatly over the course of their metered but magnificent development. The group began in 1996 shortly after vocalist Ida No met producer/multi-instrumentalist Johnny Jewel when he was working at a local grocery store. Early music from the band went under the name Glass Candy & the Shattered Theatre, and mixed raw, droney new wave rock sounds with a theatrical presentation. The band self-released several 7″ singles, beginning with 1999′s Brittle Women, followed by 2001′s Metal Gods. In late 2000 they toured with Baltimore post-hardcore group the Convocation Of... and released the live album Smashed Candy from a murky tape of one of the shows. Several drummers came and went during the course of the group’s early days, including the likes of Avalon Kalin, Dusty Sparkles, Ginger Peaches, and Jimi Hey, all providing rhythms at one time or another as the band shifted sounds from early art rock to glam to a more synthetic disco mode. While still in an art rock vein, the group released its first proper full-length, Love Love Love, in 2003 on Troubleman Unlimited. The group continued to release a slew of 7″ singles and EPs as the years went on, drawing closer and closer to a disco and electro-influenced sound with each subsequent release. In 2006, Jewel co-founded the Italians Do It Better imprint as a subsidiary label to Troubleman Unlimited. The label would focus on 12″ singles and compilations from like-minded disco-influenced artists like Nite Jewel and Glass Candy splinter group the Chromatics. With the arrival of second full-length B/E/A/T/B/O/X in 2007, Glass Candy’s transformation from scruffy art punks to glassy disco act was complete, and the dancey B-side and remix collection Deep Gems that surfaced in 2008 reinforced the change. Jewel continued work on the Italians Do It Better label as well as with the Chromatics, and meticulous, laborious work on the third Glass Candy album, Body Work, began in 2011 and continued for several years as the band became more involved in playing larger festivals and private events related to the fashion industry. An extended single for the track “Warm in the Winter” was released in 2011, and over the next few years was licensed to several films, television shows, and advertising campaigns. A Glass Candy single, “Redheads Feel More Pain,” appeared on the 2013 Italians Do It Better compilation After Dark 2. They also contributed the song “Shell Game” to Jewel’s 2015 soundtrack for the film Lost River. ~ Fred Thomas