April 25, 2013, 11 p.m. Yes. That was it. That was my moment; what were you doing? Who were you with? Perhaps you were already in bed. Or maybe, you had a special night at a bar – for me, that bar was Parts and Labour in Toronto. Yes, that was the night that I saw DIIV live!
I’m introducing their album, Oshin. However, this album is not so new. Even still, it was listed No. 22 on Stereogum’s list of Top 50 albums of 2012, and 40th on Pitchfork’s list. Oshin was released on June 26, 2012. (Yes, I already told you that it was not brand new. So what?) They came to Toronto and had an amazing show. Why not just start listening to their album again?
DIIV was started up in Brooklyn, New York, as Beach Fossils guitarist, Zachary Cole Smith’s solo project. Afterward, the drummer of Smith Westerns took part in it and now they are a four-member band.
“A band which is constituted by indie trendy members” is the common reputation that always follows them. If you know this before you listen to the music, you might think, “Oh this is just an amusement for artists, who will make proper songs for their real bands later.” No! It is not! Please, just forget about what you read, open the CD case, and press the triangle button: PLAY.
Their tracks are really subtle. It sounds like indie pop, but it could be shoegazer, new wave, or maybe folk rock – it’s really experimental and hard to describe. Simple music instruments perform bracing tunes across the entire album. If you are familiar with this pitch, this sound, you might be able to copy and re-create their tracks.
However, you will not be able to copy them in the same way that they do; DIIV’s talented skill paints their tunes neon bright. Frankly speaking, it is infrequent that guitar can lead whole tracks, and even a whole album. Oshin could be a monotonous album, but it is unified, scud and even sublime, somehow. Talking about that gig in Toronto, the audience was carried away by their tripped tunes, which were made only five instruments: two guitars, a bass, a drum, and a synth. How luxurious it is.
Although they recorded numerous singles in the album, I’d personally recommend listening to ‘How Long Have You Known?’ or ‘Sometime’ for your first introduction to the band. Music flows like water, not like a toilet flushing. It is more like overflow from a glass of water: delicate, but powerful.
They played new songs at that Toronto gig, including a song they haven’t named yet. They are neither outdated nor poor things. We should wait for their new album with our hearts beating fast.
Ahh! I cannot wait to see them play again!