Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00


Captured Tracks

DIIV Facebook

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Indie music Mecca Brooklyn will go down as one of those special places, a place that has fostered a cultural niche throughout a certain period of history. Part of all this comes DIIV, (say "dive"), the four piece project of Beach House guitarist Zachary Cole Smith. It all began, as these days is often the case, from Smiths' apartment in Brooklyn. Working solo he recorded the tracks 'Sometime' and 'Human' as demos which were released on 7 inch after being picked up by label Captured Tracks. Both have made it onto the album. Joining him after a name change (his band began life as 'Dive' but was changed out of respect for Belgian industrial rock artist Dirk Ivens whose solo project from the early 90s went by the same name), came Devin Ruben Perez (bass), Colby Hewitt (drums) and Andrew Bailey (guitar). All have impressed with their debut LP Oshin (say "ocean"), an album which varies its sound and influences but comes together as a cohesive whole, and is heavy on melodies, atmosphere and heart. 

But the guitars are the major feature on Oshin, smothered in reverb and watery haze, as are the vocals of Smith. The 80s are present with sounds recalling legends The Cure and The Smiths at times, but a main presence is Krautrock across the thirteen tracks, which are deep with compositional intelligence far beyond many of their 'dream-pop' guitar based contemporaries. All this is evident from the opening instrumental track '(Druun)' with its driving beat and bass line that loops under the complex guitar, over too quickly at a mere two minutes, making way for 'Past Lives' where the gauzy vocals are introduced, setting the tone for the rest of the LP. 

'Human' has lyrics which are so blurred it's pretty much impossible to make out a word, but never mind, they are really just another element in the mix with the rolling up and down motion of the brilliant guitar lines that flow through the track. 'Air Conditioning' has a simple bass riff joined by more melodic guitar that spans the whole thing, complex and highlighting the skill of  this band. It's the longest song at four and a half minutes and contains minimal singing. 'How Long Have You Known?' is an obvious standout, immediately catchy and original, yet familiar. Full of layers showcasing the impressive arrangements, the chorus sticks with you long after it's over, "how long have you known / how long have you shown it? / Forever Forever". It ebbs and flows with music mimicking the vocal lines of Smith, it's just a gorgeous track. 

Although in an interview Smith has said the name of the band is unimportant ("I don't really give a fuck what the band is called") the titles DIIV (dive) and Oshin (ocean) fit perfectly as the whole LP has a feeling of immersion, like hearing music while underwater, barely coming up for air.  'Sometimes' is full of beautiful guitar hooks and again vocals that sound like they are wafting in on a warm summer breeze, from somewhere you want to be. 

Rounding things off on Oshin is 'Home', beginning with a gentle and golden intro as Smith comes in with "You'll never have a home / you'll never have a home / you'll never have a home / until you go home". This final track is a perfect way to complete the album, a gentle come down, feeling like you have broken the water's surface, taken deep lungfulls of fresh, unpolluted oxygen, and leaving you feeling invigorated. This sums up all of Oshin, it leaves you with a good feeling, and it's over all too soon. 

Dave Roberts - September 7, 2012


How Long Have You Known?

From the album, 'Oshin', Captured Tracks

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March 24, 2015


Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett Official

Milk! / Marathon Artists / Mom + Pop

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1. Elevator Operator
2. Pedestrian At Best
3. An Illustration Of Loneliness (Sleepless In NY)
4. Small Poppies
5. Depreston
6. Aqua Profunda!
7. Dead Fox
8. Nobody Really Cares If You Don't Go To The Party
9. Debbie Downer
10. Kim's Caravan
11. Boxing Day Blues


March 17,  2015



Hand Drawn Dracula

Etiquette Facebook

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1. Pleasantries
2. Brown And Blue
3. Attention Seeker
4. Sleep To Wake
5. Twinkling Stars
6. Promises
7. On And On
8. Outside in
9. Island

Stream whole album here


March 10, 2015


Ripe 4 Luv

Slumberland Records

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1. Crushing Sensation - VIDEO
2. Ripe 4 Luv
3. Crawling Back To You
4. Aquarian
5. Kelly, I'm Not A Creep
6. Dear Drew
7. Living The Dream
8. Wrong Crowd (feat. Jef Barbera)


March 3, 2015



P.W. Elverum & Sun Ltd.

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1. Sauna
2. Turmoil
3. Dragon
4. Emptiness
5. (something)
6. Boat
7. Planets
8. Pumpkin
9. Spring
10. Books
11. Youth


February 24, 2015


No Cities To Love

Sub Pop

Sleater-Kinney Official

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1. Price Tag
2. Fangless
3. Surface Envy
4. No Cities To Love
5. A New Wave
6. No Anthems
7. Gimme Love
8. Bury Our Friends
9. Hey Darling
10. Fade


February 17, 2015



Ghost Records

Casa Del Mirto Facebook

Buy here (no vinyl available)

Stream album here

1. Paralyzed
2. Invisible (feat. Avalon Omega)
3. Reflex
4. Where You Stand
5. Pressure
6. Last Blue Wind
7. A Picture Of
8. Butterfly
9. 8 (feat. Aaron Larcher)
10. What I See Inside Of Me
11. Still


February 10, 2015


Natalie Prass


Natalie Prass Official

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1. My Baby Don't Understand Me
2. Bird Of Prey
3. Your Fool
4. Christy
5. Why Don't You Believe In Me
6. Violently
7. Never Over You
8. Reprise
9. It Is You


February 3, 2015


On Your Own Love Again

Drag City

Jessica Pratt Label Page

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1. Wrong Hand
2. Game That I Play
3. Strange Melody
4. Greycedes
5. Moon Dude
6. Jacquelyn In The Background
7. I've Got A Feeling
8. Back, Baby
9. On Your Own Love Again


January 27th, 2015


Viet Cong

Flemish Eye / Jagjaguwar

Viet Cong Bandcamp

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1. Newspaper Spoons
2. Pointless Experience
3. March Of Progress
4. Bunker Buster
5. Continental Shelf
6. Silhouettes
7. Death




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1. My Baby Don't Understand Me
Natalie Prass (USA)
2. Talk Show
Au. Ra (AUS)
3. Find Yourself
Jacco Gardner (NET)
4. Boris
Breakfast (USA)
5. Catastrophe
Yumi Zouma (NZL)
6. Double Talk
Jaakko Eino Kalevi (FIN)
7. Miniskirt
Braids (CAN)
8. Let It Happen
Tame Impala (AUS)
9. Just Yet
For Esmé (CAN)
10. Brown & Blue
Etiquette (CAN)


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