January 24, 2016 — “Is The Is Are” by DIIV

Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV

If you only listen to one song today, make it “Is The Is Are” by DIIV (2016, from the forthcoming album Is The Is Are).

DIIV (pronounce it like “dive”) is an indie rock/dark dream pop quartet from Brooklyn. The essence of the band is Zachary Cole Smith, who is also in Beach Fossils. A few years ago, he holed himself up to write the songs that would eventually be the first DIIV record. Unlike most people, he didn’t hole up in a cabin in the snowy woods. During a summer, he holed up in the corner of somebody else’s NYC studio apartment. No windows, no running water, no air conditioning. All he had with him was records and books.

The debut album Oshin was my 25th favorite album of 2012, but I probably should have put it higher on the list. A lot of people did. There’s been a lot of anticipation around the new album, which will finally hit shelves on February 5 via Captured Tracks.

Like the first album, the new one has a lot of DIY qualities. It’s a bit grimy and sweaty. The title track certainly is. In a view of the bigger picture, though, the new album is a bit brighter than its predecessor. I haven’t spent a ton of time with the album yet, but I really like it so far. Here’s the title track:

“Is The Is Are” by DIIV

There’s something about this that has the feel of early-mid 1980s college radio while also sounding contemporary. I immediately thought of the REM of that era, and I almost never think of REM anymore. It’s still a good thing. I think it’s safe to say that Smith is influenced to some degree by Sonic Youth, and some of that influence is all over this record. I also hear some things that remind me of Stereolab, and some things that remind me of Blonde Redhead, plus other things.

The album will be out on February 5, and you can pre-order it via Bandcamp here

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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