Canaan Smith Aims to Start a Conversation with “Diamond on the Dresser” [Exclusive Premiere]

Canaan Smith explores the topic of addiction in his new song, “Diamond on the Dresser,” featuring Emily Weisband.

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Premiering exclusively with American Songwriter, the acoustic guitar-driven ballad follows a man held down by the weight of addiction, the woman he loves leaving him when that weight becomes too heavy for them both to carry. He couldn’t put down that Tennessee / Now she’s gone forever / Whiskey on the rocks / And diamond on the dresser, they sing in the mournful chorus, with the visuals of a diamond ring sitting next to a goodbye letter as the woman leaves in the dead of night also driving home the song’s sorrowful nature.

“It’s a beautifully sobering image of what’s left when you run out of second chances,” Smith shares with American Songwriter about the meaning of the song. “I have an immediate family member who is an alcoholic and for years, I’ve witnessed firsthand the destructive power of addiction. The story I’m trying to tell is how sadly deceptive it is.”

Smith rose to fame in 2014 with his first No. 1 hit, “Love You Like That.” A year later, he released his debut album, Bronco, which reached No. 4 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and the Top 30 on the all-genre Billboard 200. He’s also found success as a songwriter on Love and Theft’s 2009 hit, “Runaway.” He’s currently signed to Florida Georgia Line’s Round Here Records.

Smith had a writing session scheduled with James McNair when they decided to invite Weisband, a fellow hit songwriter behind BTS’ “Boy With Luv,” Camilla Cabello’s “Consequences,” and “Thy Will” by Lady A’s Hillary Scott. Believing that Weisband would “appreciate” the song, McNair suggested that Smith play a clip her a clip of “Diamond on the Dresser.”

“Her response was that it gave her chills,” Smith recalls. “I remember feeling in that moment that if Emily Weisband had that kind of reaction, we just might have something special on our hands.”  

Smith soon decided to turn it into a duet, with Weisband being the first person that came to mind in what he calls a “meant to be” situation. Weisband’s emotive vocals match that of Smith’s, the pair powerfully delivering the heart-aching nature of the song, Smith citing, You can pour a drink / Or pour it down the sink / Either way it’s over, as the most personal lyric.

“That line feels like the heaviest truth,” he observes. “I often wonder when it’s gonna come to a head for my family member who’s in the same boat. Will it be too late by then?”

The country singer hopes that “Diamond” provides clarity and healing for anyone in the same situation as the lead character in the song. “I hope it’s a wake-up call to whoever needs it,” he expresses. “I’d love for it to be at least a conversation starter towards finding help.”

Photo Credit: Kurt Ozan/Courtesy of Canaan Smith

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