Rohan Newman is a Melbourne, Australia-based producer and electronic music artist, best known as Roland Tings — and in 2012, the Australian producer, who was then a virtual unknown caught the attention of renowned Los Angeles, CA-based electronic dance music label, 100% Silk Records, who released his debut EP. Unsurprisingly, as a result of his connection to the renowned label, Newman quickly became one of Melbourne’s go-to producers and DJs, performing at some of the city’s most raucous house parties and basement jams. Adding to a growing national and international profile, Newman was signed to renowned Norwegian electronic music label Internasjonal, founded by alt-disco, electronic music star Prins Thomas, and the label released Newman’s 2015 full-length debut, an album that Triple J named their Feature Album of the year.
Each Moment a Diamond, Newman’s much-anticipated sophomore Roland Tings album reveals a change in songwriting approach, with Newman renting a studio located in Melbourne’s industrial backstreets and treating the songwriting and production process as a 9-5 job, in which Newman developed a routine deliberately based around a repetitive and dependable schedule: every morning during the writing and recording of the album, Newman ate the same breakfast, rode his bike along the same route to the studio and hung up with the same friends at familiar places. “Being at the studio all day every day was psychologically demanding. For each good idea I had, there were maybe 30 bad ones, which is hard to face when you look back on months of work and realize the majority of the material will never make the record. Eventually though I was able to see each ‘failure’ as a crucial contribution to overall whole,”Newman reflected in press notes. “The routine also allowed me to grasp good ideas when they surfaced -– when something was different, when something sounded great, I quickly noticed and was able to follow each thread. Another valuable realization from this process was knowing when to stop, when to let go of an idea, power down the studio, get on my bike and head home.” Certainly, when you deal in a creative world, some of the lessons Newman learned while writing could be useful. . .
“Higher Ground” is the first single off Each Moment a Diamond, and the song is a collaboration featuring the breathy and sultry vocals of Nylo in a percussive, Zonoscope-era Cut Copy inspired house music track, featuring shimmering arpeggio synths, thumping beats, an rousing and soaring hook, and about 3/4s of the way through some Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar are added in a slickly produced song that focuses on the urgently swooning passion of first love. And while being a club-banger, the song manages to possess a radio-friendly vibe.