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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April 15, 2014


Hard Boiled, Soft Boiled

Buzz Records

Odonis Odonis Official Site

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1. Tension
2. Are We Friends
3. Order In The Court
4. New Obsession
5. Breathing Hard
6. Mr Smith
7. Release
8. Angus Mountain
9. Office Sluts
10. Highnote
11. Transmission From The Moon
12. Alexa Wait

April 15, 2014


Under Color Of Official Right

Hardly Art

Protomartyr Facebook

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1. Maidenhead
2. Ain't So Simple
3. Want Remover
4. Trust Me Billy
5. Pagans
6. What The Wall Said
7. Tarpeian Rock
8. Bad Advice
9. Son Of Dis
10. Scum, Rise!
11. I Stare At Floors
12. Come & See
13. Violent
14. I'll Take That Applause

April 1, 2014




Future Islands Official Site

Buy here

1. Seasons (Wating On You)
2. Spirit
3. Sun In the Morning
4. Doves
5. Back In The Tall Grass
6. A Song For Our Grandfathers
7. Light House
8. Like The Moon
9. Fall From Grace
10. A Dream Of You And Me


March 25, 2014


Lost In The Dream

Secretly Canadian

The War On Drugs Official Site

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1. Under The Pressure
2. Red Eyes
3. Suffering
4. An Ocean In Between The Waves
5. Disappearing
6. Eyes To The Wind
7. The Haunting Idle
8. Burning
9. Lost In The Dream
10. In Reverse


March 18, 2014




Real Estate Official Site

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1. Had To Hear
2. Past Lives
3. Talking Backwards
4. April's Song
5. The Bend
6. Crime
7. Primitive
8. How Might I Live
9. Horizon
10. Navigator


March 11, 2014


Present Tense


Wild Beasts Official Site

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1. Wanderlust
2. Nature Boy
3. Mecca
4. Sweet Spot
5. Daughters
6. A Pregnant Pause
7. A Simple Beautiful Truth
8. A Dog's Life
9. Past Perfect
10. New Life
11. Palace


March 4, 2014


Burn Your Fire For No Witness


Angel Olsen Official Site

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1. Unfucktheworld
2. Forgiven/Forgotten
3. Hi-Five
4. White Fire
5. High & Wild
6. Lights Out
7. Stars
8. Iota
9. Dance  Slow Decades
10. Enemy
11. Windows


February 25, 2014



Caldo Verde

Sun Kil Moon Official Site

Buy here (CD Only - no vinyl release)

1. Carissa
2. I Can't Live Without My Mother's Love
3. Truck Driver
4. Dogs
5. Pray For Newtown
6. Jim Wise
7. I Love My Dad
8. I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same
9. Richard Ramirez Died Today Of Natural Causes
10. Micheline
11. Ben's My Friend


February 18, 2014


Three Love Songs

Orchid Tapes

Ricky Eat Acid Facebook

Buy limited edition vinyl here

Download free digital version here

1. There Is Only You In The Light & Nothing Else
2. Driving Alone Past Roadwork At Night
3. Inside My House; Some Place I Keep Dreaming About
4. Big Man's Last Trip Outside
5. In Rural Virginia; Watching Glowing Lights Crawl From The Dark Corners Of The Room
6. Inside Your House; It Will Swallow Us Too
7. It Will Draw Me Over To It Like It Always Does
8. In My Dreams We're Almost Touching
9. God Puts Us All In The Swimming Pool
10. Outside Your House; The Lights Went Out & There Was Nothing
11. I Can Hear The Heart Breaking As One
12. Starting Over


February 11, 2014



We Were Never Being Boring

Be Forest Facebook

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1. Totem
2. Captured Heart
3. Lost Boy
4. Ghost Dance
5. Airwaves
6. Totem II
7. Colours
8. Sparkle
9. Hideaway


February 4, 2014


The Age Of Fracture

Tough Love Records

Cymbals Facebook

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1. Winter '98
2. The Natural World
3. You Are
4. Empty Space
5. The 5%
6. The Fracture Of Age
7. Like An Animal
8. Erosion
9. This City
10. The End
11. Call Me




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1. Beautiful Criminal
2. Psychic Trauma
Cloud Nothings (USA)
3. Seasons (Waiting On You)
Future Islands (USA)
4. No Romance
Tirzah (ENG)
5. Copper Thief
Case Conrad (SWE)
6. Interference Fits
Perfect Pussy (USA)
7. The Space Between Us
+/- (USA)
8. Battles
9. Come & See
Protomartyr (USA)
10. Carmine
Cloud Boat (ENG)





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