It’s been 15 years since Glass Candy founders Johnny Jewel and Ida No began making music together. Not long before they met, Johnny had been living in Texas and Ida No in Washington. A life-changing musical journey was set into motion once Johnny had an epiphanous urge to escape his environment and move to Portland, where Ida No was playing in a band. The two shared similar musical tastes and, in particular, a love for disco which led them to form Glass Candy & the Shattered Theatre—which was later shortened to just “Glass Candy”.
In the beginning, their sound was heavily disco-inspired, but had a far stronger rock leaning than their later, more well-known work. Though they enlisted a shifting roster of drummers and guitarists, Johnny and Ida No remained the core of Glass Candy. With every release, the act’s sound edged closer to the Italo disco sensation they are today. Meanwhile, Johnny also became a member of Chromatics and Desire, and co-founded Troubleman Unlimited subsidiary Italians Do It Better—home to Glass Candy, Chromatics, and Desire as well as Nite Jewel and a recent Fred Ventura release, amongst others.
With the 2007 release of their critically-acclaimed second LP, B/E/A/T/B/O/X (full stream here), Glass Candy established themselves as one of the best modern Italo disco acts around. The album was also created without any additional band members, showing just how strong of a grip the two have on their sound at this point. Since B/E/A/T/B/O/X, Glass Candy have released a b-sides and rarities compilation (Deep Gems) and an EP (Feeling Without Touching). While fans eagerly await a third LP, the duo continue to tour with like-minded acts.
This time around, Glass Candy are joined by Chromatics and Cosmetics. Whether by coincidence, intention, or both (likely) the combination is very clever. If you’re familiar with Glass Candy, you probably also know fellow Portlandian synthpop disco band Chromatics (stream Night Drive). The two often tour together given their shared qualities, label roof, and member overlap (Johnny Jewel).
Cosmetics, on the other hand, are based in Vancouver, BC and come from the esteemed Captured Tracks family. Beyond the convenient name similarity involved, they also create danceable synth jams (stream here). However in contrast to Glass Candy and Chromatics, this duo’s sound lurks deeper in a shadowy haze—resulting in a darker disco, and a perfect opener for a night of Italo fever.
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