DIIV : Oshin
You know that there aren’t enough band names left to go around when you have to change your band name from Dive. In the case of this Brooklyn four-piece, it results in the clunky DIIV (and, for some reason, my iTunes library offers up ‘div.’). Whatever, a name’s a name. The important thing is the music and Oshin ('Ocean' must’ve also been snapped up already) is a mighty fine debut album.
DIIV’s lead vocalist is Zachary Cole Smith, who plays guitars for the similarly floaty and jangly Beach Fossils. While this band is the best reference point here, the main point of difference is that Smith consistently puts guitars above vocals, a ploy that works in DIIV’s favour. The lyrics are minimal and vague, as are the reverberating vocals, but this is hardly ever a problem. As an example, How Long Have You Known? asks the question of its title and follows it up with the even less-specific “how long has it shown?’, then answers both with a shrugged-off “forever”. And yet it’s a stellar, full-sounding song that grips you and takes you along for every moment it rises and falls, such is the power of the instrumentation.
On the surface, Smith and company may not have much to say, but this is music to lose yourself in, not spend endless hours pondering. Allow yourself some time to get pulled in by DIIV’s deceptively strong pull.
BY CHRIS GIRDLER
Best Track: How Long Have You Known?
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Beach Fossils BEACH FOSSILS, Gemini WILD NOTHING
In A Word: Washed-out